INTERVIEW WITH ANNIE ZAMERO

By Kala Bennu (www.kalabennuautopoietics.weebly.com)

''A warrior is an impeccable hunter who hunts power. Only as a warrior can one survive the path of knowledge. […] You will have to wrestle with [the ally]...and tame it. If you survive...your ally will spin you, alone, into unknown worlds. Spinning with your ally will change your idea of the world.''

- Carlos Castaneda, ''Journey to Ixtlan''.

CONFLICT, OPPOSITES AND POWER – where the mind abides with the spirit in the fight for integrity and inner balance, there are many ways of ascending in the fundamental journey of each warrior. Annie Zamero, an expressive and thoughtful artist, founder of THE MAGMA GROUP, was part of the TRIBE 15 ART festival.

'The Warrior II', 2013
'The Warrior II', 2013

'' Initially I considered conflict as terrorism. However, I then read "Tales of Power" and ''Journey to Ixtlan'' by Carlos Castanada which are about becoming a warrior or person of great power, capable of magical feats, for which perfect inner balance is essential. This led to the idea of the terrorist as a warrior, but in the mystical sense. It also led to considerations of inner conflict and Carl Jung's ideas of the psyche. Jung suggests inner conflict is due to opposing forces setting up a tension in the psyche ("Memories, Dreams, Reflections"). Fusing these ideas together I began the "Warrior" series of photomontages and paintings. Clearly warriors are engaged in a struggle for power but for the warrior on the spiritual path, the power sought is within and the conflicts are internal in the psyche. For the mystical warrior the opposites are polarisations in the psyche which have to be resolved for progression on the spiritual path. In some cases I have used images of Jihadists especially as 'Jihad' has a second meaning of an inner spiritual struggle or 'greater Jihad'. I have also used tribal and Samurai warrior images as well as more theatrical images from kabuki or mime artists such as Slava Polunin. I have combined symbolism so the mystical has a contextualised political reality as if the mystic is engaged in a quasi-political battle.''

- Annie Zamero from her ARTIST'S STATEMENT.

How and when did you realise you are an artist?

I didn’t suddenly realise. I eventually called myself an artist, because I was regularly exhibiting and making artwork.

Did anyone specially encourage you to become and artist?

My family and friends, at the time that I was still in banking, were against my being an artist (as was the case for Cezanne, also an ex-banker!). I joined an art group in 1999, and they encouraged me.

'The Wounded Warrior', 2014
'The Wounded Warrior', 2014

How would you describe the form of your art, and its style?

Figurative painting with abstract elements, influenced by the German Expressionists, Abstract Expressionists, Rembrandt, Tim Shaw, RA.

How important is diversity of media in your artwork?

I enjoy painting, drawing and some printmaking/collage. I have previously worked in photomontage and photography.

'Spinning Warrior', 2015
'Spinning Warrior', 2015
'The Warrior V', 2015
'The Warrior V', 2015

What other media would you like to explore in the future?

At the moment I am focusing on painting.

What is the most important message you would like to communicate through your art?

That art should communicate a feeling in the viewer.

'The Warrior IV', 2014
'The Warrior IV', 2014

Your artwork is strongly embedded in the discussion of ethnic and cultural sense of identity. What identity means to you, and what in your opinion is the best way to understand one's own identity - as an artist, as well as a human being?

To understand your identity is to understand yourself. You don’t have to identify with your family. You can choose who to identify with. I identify with artists I work with.

If you were to name your inspirational 'time and space' zones, what would they be? In other words: what makes you feel inspired, and what keeps you artistically evolving?

I am inspired by great art whether in galleries, literature or as performance which can be theatre,mime, music. My interest in getting closer to making a painting, that exactly expresses what I am thinking of, causes my art to continue to evolve.

'The Lost Warrior', 2014
'The Lost Warrior', 2014

What other artworks and artists you appreciate, and what would be your dream collaboration?

See my Artist Statement for influences. I also admire Peter Doig for his use of paint, Lucian Freud for his drawing/painting skills, and Francis Bacon for his expressive power and inventiveness.

Goals I would like to achieve include getting more exciting exhibiting venues for The Magma Group of artists for whom I am founder and group co ordinator. Also to organise more panel discussions with interesting speakers. I am currently working on this.

Dream collaboration- Francis Bacon, Otto Dix and Rembrandt.

In your opinion, what are the best ways for organisations like us to support artists?

To develop a list of collectors, gallerists, art critics, and to invite these to a private view of our work.

What is your next artistic project and goals you would like to achieve?

Goals I would like to achieve include getting more exciting exhibiting venues for The Magma Group

of artists for whom I am founder and group co ordinator. Also to organise more panel discussions

with interesting speakers. I am currently working on this.

Annie Zamero official website (about info: Artist Statement &CV).

http://www.anniezamero.co.uk/about.html

The Magma Group Website (about info).

http://www.themagmagroup.co.uk/

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