Artist on File: Anneli Boon
Clare Kendal Bate met with HVA Member Anneli Boon, Contemporary and mixed-media paper artist at her Studio in Welwyn.
Anneli Boon was born in Imatra in the South East of Finland. At the age of 24, after working in various clerical jobs, she decided she wanted to travel and in1970 came to work and experience life England. Anneli took a job at Oaklands College and also enrolled in evening classes there to learn English. It was at Oaklands where she met her future husband, a young tutor in agriculture, and they married in 1973.
Always interested and involved in art from a young age, Anneli took ‘O level’ Art and extra classes in the subject. Whilst still in Finland she began designing and knitting individual knitwear in colourful patterns (a very traditional Finnish craft) and she continued to do this for several years after arriving in the UK. She also made and sold children’s clothes.
In 1989 Anneli took an Access Course at the then St Albans Art School and went on to take CNAA Certificate of Higher Education in two dimensional art and design at Hertfordshire College. This was followed by a degree at the University of Hertfordshire, where she gained a BA (Honours) and was granted an award for the best overall performance.
After finishing her degree Anneli signed up for an Artist in Education Course and also stained glass design and textile printing, which she particularly loved.
Anneli’s work has been mainly abstract collage, using strong, opulent colours coupled with a typical Scandinavian minimalist approach. She combines different types of papers to which she applies colour using mainly acrylic paints, thus providing the layered palette for her creations. ‘They are representations of nature and landscapes and changing seasons, broken down to their fundamental patterns and elements’.
Last year, when Anneli was on holiday in Finland, a number of quirky birds caught her eye and she began sketching them.
‘I absolutely loved drawing those birds and it fired my imagination to begin painting my idiosyncratic fantasy birds‘. The paintings are fanciful, happy and charming semi-abstract illustrations, with layers of vivid colour.
‘I am an admirer of 20th century modernism, especially the abstract works of Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. Perhaps I owe my taste for the modern to my Scandinavian heritage’.
Exhibitions and Commissions
Anneli’s work has been bought by a number of commercial organisations including Center Parcs, Nikon, Microsoft, KPMG, the Ramada Hotel Group and more locally by Wetherspoons in St Albans.
Center Parcs commissioned Anneli to create rural countryside scenes to hang in their chalets ‘we went to stay with them in one of their villages and it was very pleasing to see my work displayed’.
There have been numerous exhibitions throughout the country including The Finnish Institute and the Quaker Gallery, both in central London. Her work has also been shown at the Rivers Gallery in the Cotswolds and The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle, the UK’s largest commercial gallery.
‘I have also exhibited my work in many of the towns and villages surrounding my home studio in Old Welwyn and took part in the Welwyn Festival in June. Plus, I have enjoyed participating in the Hertfordshire Open Studios several times. And last Christmas, I got together with other local artists to create an advent calendar for Welwyn.’
Anneli was commissioned to create a book cover for a poetry anthology called Making Waves and she had work published in the book ‘An Introduction to Mixed Media’ by Michael Wright.
I really enjoyed looking at Anneli’s art; her work and house reflect her Finnish provenance, a modern way of living and beautiful, striking simplified design.
You can buy her work at our Christmas Art and Gift Fair on Saturday, 3rd December 2011, which is being held at The Old Town Hall, Marketplace, St Albans and at the following galleries
• Walkern Gallery, Walkern, Hertfordshire
• The Gallery at Parndon Mill, Harlow, Essex
• The Hertfordshire Gallery, 6 St Andrew Street, Hertford SG14 1JE
If you would like to visit Anneli at her home studio, or commission a piece of your own, please contact her:
Address: 16 Mimram Place, Welwyn, Hertfordshire, AL6 9HQ, UK
Telephone: +44 (0)1438 715416
by CLARE KENDAL BATE