Anna Yates


Anna Yates

The Unseen Order



Artist's Statement

A lone match stands before a chasm of viridescent stones. A faucet yields a single droplet into a cloudy red oblivion, and leaves emerge from velvet shadows, beckoning to tell the beginning of a story. But will we ever know how this story ends, or what it means?  

I process existential questions best through the lens of fantasy—sometimes through the study of spirituality and mythology, other times via escapism through more contemporary fiction—but always through stories. In whatever form they take, fantastical narratives allow me to step into the domain of the mythic imagination, instilling in me the notion that there are things in this world I cannot understand, implying that anything could be possible.

In these drawings, I render what I think of as portals into the “unseen order,” a key element of unnatural narratives, characterized by the philosopher William James as a hidden realm lodged above, behind, or in between the ordinary spaces of our everyday lives.  The objects in my works are chosen for their versatility as both symbols and as anchors to our reality. Yet, to subvert that reality, they are placed in unnatural environments: shadowy polygons and flat fields of color that simultaneously allude to space and perspective, but also negate them. The tension created between elements both familiar and unfamiliar reflect the feelings of uncertainty and curiosity invoked when we encounter concepts that transcend human comprehension.  

In my work, I seek to entice viewers into a strange realm, where they are encouraged to imagine where these story fragments connect, yet are left unsettled by their lack of resolute answers. Between the spaces of what we know, in the shadows beyond where our eyes can see, our imaginations guide us to a place where magic can be made real.  

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Updated: 05/26/2022 01:42PM