In her work, Anna Perach (b. Ukraine based London) explores the dynamics between personal and cultural myths. With diverse references including domesticity, fairy tales and psychoanalytic theory she transforms female archetypes into sculptural hybrids, exploring ideas of identity, gender, and craft. Her work engages with historical narratives through the depiction of enigmatic female characters that dwell in the uneasy space of between, inside, and outside of their bodies.
Holes – A site of rebirth, where non-conforming and subjugated bodies take control, Holes pushes beyond conventional understandings of flesh and skin. Comprising large-scale sculptural forms and installation, the exhibition is inspired by instances where the female body is viewed by a religious or scientific patriarchal authority as something that transgresses the rules of morality and nature. These moments include witch trials from the Renaissance period, 17th Century anatomical Venus sculptures designed for disassembly and exploration of the feminine interior; and the work of an 19th century neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot who treated women diagnosed with hysteria.
In her exhibition, Perach makes space for her characters to transcend their assumed characteristics of good and evil, scientific and mysterious, entering a liminal space of unknowing and potential. In her words:
“The characters’ bodies are in transition and transformation, disobeying the boundaries of the self as an impenetrable unit and by metaphor the boundaries of societal rules.”
Employing a distinctive visual vocabulary, Perach works with an intricate tufting technique, commonly used to produce domestic textiles, to create surreal wearable sculptures or skins often used for performances. Richly detailed and layered, the sculptures confound conventional expectations, with stretched limbs, engorged features and uncanny faces. Alluring yet monstrous, Perach blurs the lines between interior and exterior and in Holes, they will be further activated in a new two-part performance, taking place at selected times during the exhibition. Choreography: Luigi Ambrosio Original sound piece: Laima Layton Sound assistant: Jody DeSchutter Performers: M. Sole Montacci, Ana coltatu, Chiara Pagani, Anna Guzak.
Anna Perach: Holes, 1st February – 28th April 2024, Gasworks
Preview: Wednesday 31st January, 6:30-8:30pm
Gasworks commissions are supported by Catherine Petitgas, Gasworks Exhibitions Supporters, and the Anna Perach Exhibition Circle.
About the artist
Anna Perach is based in London, UK. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions internationally including: Richard Saltoun, London (2023); Edel Assanti, London (2022); Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art; ADA, Italy (both 2021); Centrale Fies, Italy (2020); MOSTYN, Llandudno; Mimosa House, London (both 2019). In 2022, Perach was awarded the Carol Rama award at Artissima and the Hopper prize, in 2021 she received the Ingram Prize and in 2020 the studio award with Sarabande, The Lee Alexander McQueen Foundation as well as the Gilbert Bayes award. Perach is a studio holder at Gasworks.