Anna Cranor

Anna Cranor 

As children, we come to understand the world through the stories we hear and read. These stories introduce us to the fundamental concepts of right and wrong, of life and death. They allow us to express our hopes and confront our fears. As adults, we pass on our knowledge through stories — morals and good advice, family histories, and our personal myths. I am interested in how we construct these narratives about ourselves and the world around us and the relationship between these stories and our sense of self. 

My work is focused on the concepts of narrative and storytelling and grounded in the figure. Much of my work is about memory and loss — the ways we remember our stories and the way those stories can change over time, sometimes without our realizing it, and the way some stories are only dimly remembered, become fragmented, or become lost to us forever.

I work with a symbolic vocabulary that revolves around these themes, using imagery from childhood fairy and folk tales. I want to evoke an emotional response in the viewer by approaching those ideas we first encountered in childhood, but with the experience we bring to them as adults, and by applying the language and symbols of fairy tales to the stories we construct about our own lives. Through a process of assemblage in which familiar images are collected, recombined, and reconstructed, I attempt to address personal experience, memory, and perception, and the desire to place one’s own story within the human story, to look into the darkness and attempt to understand the world.

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