Born in 1978, Anya Sinclair grew up in the Waitakere Ranges and now lives with her husband, son, and greyhound in a rambling house and overgrown section by the sea in Port Chalmers. The daughter of a painter and art history teacher, Anya had a brush in her hand from an early age, and has been continuously exploring the possibilities of colour, light, and form. Early influences vary from children’s literature by John Masefield, C. S. Lewis and George McDonald, to the music of Kate Bush, the bright, flat colours of Henri Matisse and the dreamy scenes of Marc Chagall. More recently Anya has been interested in the work of writer Jorge Luis Borges and artist Peter Linde Busk.
As a young artist Anya lived and travelled in France, and Italy, without a camera. By documenting her observations in collages of found imagery, ink drawings and memory, she freed herself to encounter nature, rather than reproduce naturalism. This is a theme that her work frequently explores, creating worlds that are at once familiar and exotic, universal but informed by experience.
Her work was once more concerned with screens and windows into another world, capturing and creating the possibility of going somewhere else but lately has been more concerned with the push and pull between flatness and depth. Drawing in somebody’s eye with illusion and at the same time blocking them with the flatness, not letting the viewer get comfortably into the illusion of the view.
Pineapple fritter, 2022
About time, 2021
Lockdown Flowers, 2020
Adventure Island, 2020
The Door in the Wall, 2013