"Ann Winder-Boyle's small-scale encaustic pictures always reward a second look - they have an intriguing edge of darkness about them."

- Andrew Graham Dixon, leading art critic, presenter of the BBC’s flagship arts program ‘The Culture Show’ and columnist for the Sunday Telegraph.

How much of our happiness or unhappiness in life is linked to expectation? My art form initially developed as an emotional and therapeutic response to a period of personal distress, and has developed and progressed to explore the link between expectation and our sense of fulfilment. In the days following my mother’s death I found many items, including old family photos, letters and a collection of my father’s childhood books, which had been lovingly inscribed by various members of his family.  I found these hand-written inscriptions touching and it highlighted the transient nature of time and the sadness inherent in our natural decay. Using collage and assemblage I began to create ‘Joseph Cornell’ style boxes using the materials that I had found in my mother’s home. This process has since evolved into a collection of small boards, collaged with old books and beeswax.  The small scale of the pieces entices the viewer to move closer, creating a more personal and intimate experience. The work is richly layered and often incorporates complex and challenging scenes. By deploying the use of age-withered books and beeswax this not only adds to the nostalgic experience visually, but also via the olfactory senses.  I also enjoy the unpredictability of working with the beeswax in the final stages. My subject matter and tone: sometimes edgy, sometimes playful, have all been influenced by my trauma and yet have undeniably assisted my recovery. A nostalgic and sometimes melancholic experience, and open to personal interpretation is how I like to describe my work, and yet always with a sense of reference to happiness and its relationship to expectation.

Ann Winder-Boyle

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