Connecting Heritage and Place

Artist Beth Yazhari (Artist #96) recently interviewed fellow artist Anne Mavor (Artist #60)

Anne Mavor, who is a talented writer in addition to being a visual artist, is influenced by many diverse sources. Her father, an Astro-Archeologist, was fascinated by ancient stone mounds built by Neolithic and Bronze age cultures, and Anne has painted many images of these Stonehenge-like sites using some of his 40 years worth of research photos as inspiration. Her encaustic watercolor paintings feature transparent layers of color and often have an ethereal watery quality. Anne enjoys the experimental nature of her unique painting process, but she also spends a great deal of her time working on large installations that deal with personal and philosophical themes.
During my interview with Anne, she said of her artistic process, “For me, it’s a lot about heritage and family, and home and place—where do I fit in, where do I belong? Where is my people? Where can I be?”
In her brand new studio, which is adjacent to her home and which she is building in preparation for this year’s Portland Open Studios tour, Anne will be looking for feedback from the public on a prototype of her newest creative endeavor, an installation project called “I Am My White Ancestors: Self-Portraits Through Time.” This will consist of large photos of herself dressed as such ancestors of hers as Eugenia Buchanan (b. 1823), who lived in South Carolina and owned slaves (see photo below).

Anne is trying to figure out what made her own ancestors take part in oppressive systems; she describes her work as “a love affair with the places my family has been connected to in an effort to find connection for myself.”
Portland Open Studios is an opportunity for Anne to share her thought-provoking and beautiful art with others. The goal of her paintings is to “express the tender and deep bonds between humans and place,” and she wants her art to be a catalyst for helping our generation to heal racism and to have a healthy and sustainable relationship with the earth. The opportunity to be one of the first to visit her in her new studio this October should not be missed!