Annie Smits Sandano

Annie Smits Sandano graduated from the University of Auckland Elam School of Fine Arts with a BFA (Hons) degree in printmaking and painting in 2006, yet her work has never rested easily within the singular realm of the two-dimensional. Consistently and primarily driven by an interest in investigating the basic interaction between line and colour via materiality and/or process, she utilises painting, print and more recently ceramics to incite sensation. Operating on a visceral level, colour, light, texture and shapes have all consistently been key concerns throughout her practice.

Annie’s current practice reflects an in-depth investigation of an intense interest in materiality. Reveling in the material qualities of a wide-ranging selection of media, her recent ceramic series and supporting paintings frequently display exuberant texture fields, impastos and gestural smears. Paint is laid down in thick swirling swathes and dawbs, surface, texture and colour negotiate space. “Skins” are applied in layers - the material self-arranges across the surface.

Connecting object and paintings through the way both inhabit physical space, she also aligns them materially: refined granular textured surfaces made from re-used ceramic dust connects paintings to clay works – a quiet but important link. Further juxtaposition of dense and gritty against glossy smooth planes within the ceramic pieces offer generous tensions and an entry point for the viewer to respond on a visceral level. Blurring the lines of where object ends and painting begins, lines, colour and medium often seep over the edge of the supports, distorting the lines of their supporting base forms.  

Annie Smits Sandano was born in Brazil and lived between New Zealand and her home country for many years. She has undertaken her art training on an international level: beginning in the USA, where she attended the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, before spending seven months in Florence, Italy, where she studied Italian Renaissance art history, textile design, painting and contemporary spatial design. Upon her return to New Zealand, Annie attended Elam School of Fine Arts at The University of Auckland, where she spent her undergraduate years developing a solid conceptual foundation whilst consolidating technical printmaking skills with a strong focus on woodblock prints.

After graduating, Annie established herself as a practising contemporary printmaker with solo and group exhibitions throughout New Zealand, Australia and the USA. After a move to London, she began to explore ceramics and its possibilities as a medium. This new side to her work has already been received with great acclaim with her ceramic installation 'Banquet' being selected as one of the 19 finalists in New Zealand's Portage Ceramic Awards.

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