Anna Luth is an interdisciplinary artist who works in expanded ceramics, performance, and installation to explore obstacles and boundaries relating to phenomenological experience. Using labor-intensive methods of making, Luth considers the ways performativity can activate art-objects while creating collaborative encounters. Originally from Alberta, Luth is the 2017 recipient of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts’ Queens Golden Jubilee Scholarship. She holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design and is thankful to live and work in Vancouver on the unceded Territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.
My practice involves a variety of materials, but I continuously turn to clay because of the way it is persuaded by touch. I work with both fragile clay in its unfired state and durable fired ceramic in order to raise questions about the perceived stability of the material, and the way it incites a hyper-awareness of the body. The paradoxical tension of clay drives my practice, and my creative process is a balance of chance and control; I am fascinated by tension that creates inconsistencies and fails to land in one place.
I observe patterns of construction and destruction in my surroundings: temporarily cordoned-off sites redirect, exclude, and ‘improve’ physical space. I often reference the vocabulary of material-culture in my work— namely industrial materials that are often associated with safety— because these recognizable visual cues elicit specific behaviors and movement as we renegotiate disrupted interior and exterior environments.
Making is a physical and performative experience; I am fully engaged in the process and my movement/labour is embedded in the sculpture. Performative gestures and instructional titles or scores are inspired by the Fluxus Movement and installation art. When my ceramic objects are completed, it is my intention to use the movement of myself and the viewer to activate the work. Ceramic history is intrinsically bound to community and function, and is carried through to present-day quotidian activities like eating and drinking. I see my work as functional in the way that my intention is to bring people together, to create an encounter facilitated by objects.