‘Short, sharp and clever’ language is what pulls her work together.
When I met artist Kelly Anna this winter at her Brixton-based studio, she had just installed her first solo show, transforming The Book Club in Shoreditch with her signature graphic motifs that celebrated her inner champion. She describes a desire to create works that allow for experiences, encouraging a place where people could come and have fun, and this drove her to the making of a site-specific live mural painting, curtains, clothing, and a ping pong room. The energy of her studio – containing moments of memorabilia such her first Nike shoe design, her first illustration branded on a popcorn, zines she had produced, a cushion she designed, a limited edition t-shirt she printed – was rhythmic and jumpy, two aspects which are integral to the artist’s practice, who lets herself get into the rhythm when working. Her studio is re-thinked through a selection of books (including Matisse, The Greek Vase, and the history of Mexico) and motivational signs on the wall, that remind her of the importance of being ‘make-ready’.