Anne Van Maanen

Artist Statement

When I was 12 my parents went through a divorce. As a result, I fell into a depression making it hard for me to focus on my educational career and personal health; as a result, the only thing I found comfort in was art. Being able to focus and direct my grief and anger through artistic expression helped to calm my emotions and focus my goals. In hindsight I realize that this helped me through my experiences later in life.

My thesis focuses on the aftermath and effects that divorce has on a child, and different methods of coping and learning to live with what happened. Through my artwork I wish to understand the experiences I had and how I learned to manage my emotions. My memories and experiences have a large influence on the materials I use in my artwork. In my piece Blankie, I wanted to show something in my life that was a source of stability. The process of making Blankie played an integral part in bringing my body of work together. The print shows every detail, like edges fraying and holes in the middle, showing the importance of the object and representing how important it was to me and that it was the one object that was actually mine.

I hope my artwork can help others who are going through similar experiences and show them that they are not alone. To that end, my art pieces are designed to be about the comfort I found within myself.