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MUNTHE ART MONDAY: ANYA PAINTSIL

Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do

My name is Anya Paintsil, I’m a textile artist and painter based in South East London. My dad is from Ghana and my mum is from Ynys Mon, the island off Wales and I grew up in North East Wales. I take lots of inspiration from my dual heritages, both in the mediums and methods I use in my artistic practices and the inspiration behind my works - I grew up in a home with a lot of West African art - masks, sculptures and fabrics such as Kente and African wax print, as well as being taught British heritage crafts such as hand rug making from my maternal grandmother.

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Could you explain more about how being a woman has affected your career?

My whole practice as an artist I think really stems from an interest in women’s creative labour through history - in both textiles and my use of afro hair styling techniques. I think my art has a decidedly feminine quality - and the majority of characters I portray in my textiles are women. In terms of my career, I have felt bias and sometimes that my work has been devalued and not seen as ‘fine art’ because of the feminine connotations of the mediums I use, but I do feel this changing.

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Can you name some other female (artist) that inspires you and explain why they do so?


My art heroines are Dindga McCannon and Faith Ringgold. Both are pioneers - I feel like my work couldn’t exist or be received in the way it is without their groundbreaking work in shifting perspectives around textile and more so black female art.

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What has been the most challenging aspect of being a woman in the arts?


In my day to day - nothing - I am lucky to be surrounded by peers, collectors and gallerists who really value my work and the fact I embrace the feminine connotations of my practice and understand that I don’t seek to ‘elevate’ traditional craft techniques associated with women creative labour, but promote them. I suppose I kind of exist in a bit of a bubble - throughout my career I have mostly worked with female founded, led or managed galleries and I am quite lucky in this respect and I quite regularly have contact with amazing, driven women curators and directors from institutions and museums. I feel very lucky to be in their sphere and I have nothing but hope for the future of the art world.

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What would you like people to notice in your artwork?


The details and textures! I can never quite capture it in images, I hope everyone who wants to can see my pieces in real life. I use a lot of different techniques in my practice - punch needle embroidery, hand embroidery, latch hooking, speed tufting, felting and they all create dimension and different affects in a piece.


Anya is wearing BABE SKIRT and LARUSSA KNIT