Wigan artist makes New York debut

Anna FC SmithAnna FC Smith
Anna FC Smith
A Wigan artist hit the international culture scene after being invited across the pond to showcase some of her work in New York.

Anna FC Smith had pieces from her project connected to the 100th anniversary of some women getting the vote for the first time put on display at an international show in the Big Apple.

Anna joined artists from around the world for a massive showcase of feminism and women’s issues in the Manhattan gallery formerly owned by Robert Miller, a well-known US art dealer who specialised in modern and abstract work.

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Anna’s exhibition contribution brought a real flavour of Britain to the other side of the Atlantic as her pieces combine the suffragettes’ fight for political representation and folk shaming rituals which took place up and down England hundreds of years ago.

The exhibition where Anna showed some of her workThe exhibition where Anna showed some of her work
The exhibition where Anna showed some of her work

She said it was a thrilling experience to have her work seen in one of the world’s most exciting and artistic cities and counted it at the very top of her career highlights to date.

Anna said: “There were about 600 people in the gallery on opening night, it was absolutely rammed.

“It was just really exciting to see people from so many different backgrounds but I also found it very nerve-racking because everyone in America is so confident about their work.

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"I’ve never felt more English! Everyone told me they loved my glasses and my accent. It was fabulous to be involved in an exhibition in such a high-profile place and to make connections and have conversations with people there. It’s definitely one of the top highlights of my career now.”

Anna’s contribution to the show started as part of Pankhurst in the Park project to mark the votes for women milestone, which included her doing workshops in the deprived Alexandra Park area of Manchester in which people threw eggs at fabric in a reference to one of the suffragettes’ most famous protest methods.

Anna then took photographs of the patterns created and used coloured powder before creating designs on fabric. These were then made into the shape of women’s bloomers for the sculptures.

The pieces are topped with horns, a reference to the shaming protests which women used to carry out against men who had stepped out of social line, whether in politics or by having affairs or committing other personal misdemeanours.

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Anna was invited after she wrote an article about the suffragette centenary for the American publication Art 511 Mag. The artwork has remained in the States and will be shown at another New York venue in September.