Annie Vought

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Artist Annie Vought meticulously cuts paper to make her beautiful and witty wall pieces. Her recent work has concentrated on writing, while previous work explored the human body through cut up anatomy drawings.

Annie Vought - To Do
Annie Vought: To Do, 2006

As a compulsive list-maker, I just adore the absurdity of this piece – just think of the hours it must have taken to cut away the paper from something as transitory and throwaway as a to-do list. She’s clearly a woman after my own heart!

The use of shadows in these works interests me and I see obvious parallels with my own thread drawings where the shadows also work to complete the image. Unsurprisingly, it also delights me that she uses pins to attach the delicate cut paper to the wall.

Annie Vought - Slightly
Annie Vought: Slightly, 2006

Kirsty Hall, art, thread drawing
Kirsty Hall: Thread drawing – work in progress

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Vought is also involved in a radical form of curating in public spaces through her involvement with the Budget Gallery.

The Budget Gallery is not in a specific place. We don’t have a building, so we’re beyond low-rent. We don’t even pay rent. We set up our gallery in co-opted public spaces like vacant walls and fences. The shows are carefully co-ordinated, prepared, and publicized. The pieces are displayed much like a traditional gallery. We paint walls white, install art works and labels. We announce openings that are attended by hundreds. Refreshments are served and one can often hear jazz playing in the background. Of course, this is no traditional gallery – it’s all taking place on the sidewalk. In the end it’s a blend of all the greatest things about attending an art show, a garage sale, and a block party rolled into one.

Check out their project rules:

1. We use underutilized public spaces for our exhibitions.
2. If work doesn’t sell at the opening, it stays, in public, unguarded, for at least 1 week.
3. After the opening the unguarded work is sold on the honor system.
4. All art work in our shows will be sold, stolen*, or vandalized** and we can not pre-determine the outcome.
5. Our commission is arbitrary, optional, and determined by the artist.

*Having a work stolen is the highest honor of the Budget Gallery because it means someone wanted the work so badly they were willing to abandon personal and societal mores to acquire your piece of art. In our eyes, this may be considered a more valuable compliment to you than a simple monetary transaction.

**We suggest you consider vandalism a form a collaboration.

I find that a fascinating concept but also very challenging: it certainly brings up a lot of issues around letting go of control.

How would you feel about your work being shown in these circumstances? Could you deal with it? Would it upset you to have your work stolen from an unguarded public wall? Would it upset you more to have it vandalised?

I think I would have to make work especially for that space, with those aims in mind because if my regular art was stolen or vandalised I’d be upset. I actually had my degree show vandalised and even though I’d known beforehand that it was a possibility because of the extreme delicacy of the piece, I still had to go and cry in the toilets for a while!

I am an artist & purveyor of obsessive projects based in Hebden Bridge, England. My work involves the accretion of large numbers of small objects - pins in fabric, knots in string or hundreds of envelopes - to make sculptures that deal with fragility, loss, repetition, obsession and time.

8 thoughts on “Annie Vought

  1. I agree with you, I’d need to do work specifically for such a show to be prepared not to be upset by an outcome such as vandalism or theft.

    I’d still want to participate if we had that type of show happening in our community & am going to float the idea with local artists groups & our downtown revitalization group.

    [Reply]

  2. I agree with you, I’d need to do work specifically for such a show to be prepared not to be upset by an outcome such as vandalism or theft.

    I’d still want to participate if we had that type of show happening in our community & am going to float the idea with local artists groups & our downtown revitalization group.

    [Reply]

  3. Hi Elan, thanks for the comment – I suspected that I wouldn’t be alone in my attitude to this, although like you, I still find it a fascinating idea. If you get something off the ground, do let me know.

    [Reply]

  4. Hi Elan, thanks for the comment – I suspected that I wouldn’t be alone in my attitude to this, although like you, I still find it a fascinating idea. If you get something off the ground, do let me know.

    [Reply]

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