Toronto based artist Anna May Henry creates still life paintings that contemplate the struggle of survival and the need for sustenance - both physical and emotional.
Language and humour are key tools in Henry's watercolours, as she cleverly replaces familiar brands and marketing slogans with heart-tugging one liners depicting both hardship and relentless positivity. Each work is painted in a soft, delicate, and understated way, with a gorgeous use of colour, careful observation, and attention to detail that brings each grocery store item to life in our mind and memory. Still Life, the title of this body of work, is a subversion of the painting tradition which often focused on luxurious, beautiful, and personal items, deepening the power of their low class impact. Henry's deliberate contrast between bargain brand packaging and the thriving florals inside them speaks as a poetic representation of the human ability to flourish in scarcity.
Anna May Henry's work is beautifully crafted with a strong message. We love how it offers both feelings of desperation and optimism for the viewer, two prevalent human experiences equally embedded in her powerful paintings.