Anna FC Smith is a Wigan (UK) based multimedia artist. She studied Critical Fine Art Practice at the University of Brighton, graduating in 2007, and has exhibited internationally. Smith has a longstanding obsession with the overlooked in history, folk culture and communal traditions. As a practitioner, she locates herself between artist, historian and anthropologist, with historical and anthropological research forming the basis of much of her work. Through her practice, Smith celebrates ‘low culture’ relating with concepts of the carnivalesque, bawdiness, irreverence and ambivalence. She explores the role of history, and the archive and the links contemporary society has with its predecessors. ‘[T]he rituals of modern mass culture have created a shifting and transient sense of the sacred, now invested in the political ideology of the moment, romantic love of nature, charismatic leaders, jingoistic nationalism, idealized domesticity, or endless cults, fads, ephemera. If societies demand rituals, then changing societies will produce changing rituals.’ (Muir, Edward. Ritual)
Alexandra Arts are excited to announce that Wigan art star Anna FC Smith has been commissioned to contribute to this year’s Pankhurst in the Park Project. Anna will be running workshops locally throughout April and May, centring around eggs, protest, carnival, and the Women’s Suffrage Movement. In July, a new body of work drawing from these themes and the contributions of participants will be presented in West Chelsea, New York premier art district.
In light of the centenary of women’s suffrage and Alexandra Arts transatlantic exchange with NYC based Art 511 Mag, Anna was commissioned to write a piece titled ‘The ritualistic heritage of the suffragettes’ - this was initiated by the Pankhurst in the Park Programme, whose community locus is the same Alexandra Park where many of the suffragette’s organizing and protesting took hold. Adjacent infamous suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst’s residence.
Read and download Anna’s piece here