Annie Hudson and Anthea Eames: Unearthed
Artists Annie Hudson and Anthea Eames
I encountered Annie and Anthea one bright but chilly October morning in Anteros Gallery in Norwich, as they were enjoying a coffee in the sun dappled gallery.
On the walls, in their exhibition Unearthed, hung a mix of Annie’s drawings and Anthea’s paintings, complementing each other perfectly.
Anthea uses earthy colours, beautifully textured blocks of subtle blue, russet brown, dark red and creamy yellow, while Annie draws in bold sweeps of charcoal higlighted with smudges of chalk gathered on Cromer beach.
Annie moved to Norfolk from Cumbria 2 years ago. Her heart’s still in limestone country, but she loves the coastal erosion on the Norfolk coast and is excited by its artistic possibilities.
Natural pigments made by Anthea, including a bowl of her own richly black charcoal
Anthea collects pigments from all over the world, and was displaying Sahara sand and ochre from Cromer as well as intensely black charcoal that she makes herself.
Her son lives in Australia and she also goes to Africa to teach, which gives her an opportunity to gather raw materials.
‘Drawing on linen was like drawing on a grater,’ says Annie, and she found that Anthea’s charcoal was the perfect medium to show off the texture of the fabric.
Karst 1 by Annie Hudson
Both women returned to art after bringing up families. Annie says, ‘I brought up my kids single-handed, it was an intense time, and I didn’t start working full-time in art again until I was 50.’
There’s a lot to explore through art at this time of life. ‘I don’t think you know what you want to say until you’ve matured,’ Anthea says.
‘Young artists now are told if you haven’t made it by the time you’re 30, you won’t make it, but I didn’t graduate from art school until I was 40! Now there’s a sense that time is precious, and I say to myself, “Come on woman, get on with it!”‘
A collaborative piece by Annie Hudson and Anthea Eames
I felt very inspired by the collaboration of these two artists on this stunning exhibition, both by the confidence and expertise shown in their work, and by their attitude towards making and showing their art. Embracing their maturity and wisdom, they use those layers of experience help them to create works with depth and meaning.
I visited the exhibition right at the end of its run, but you can see plenty of examples of Annie’s and Anthea’s work, find out more about them, and arrange a studio visit on their websites: