A studio visit to ceramic sculptor Annie Turner on the outskirts of Orford in Suffolk is not complete without a lunch stop at the Butley Orford Oysterage a simple, no-nonsense restaurant serving Oysters, smoked delicacies and fresh local fish and shellfish. People travel from far and wide to eat here and salivate over smoked mussels. It was the perfect precursor to viewing the beautiful work of Annie Turner.
Annie’s studio is one of just a few occupying an Old Forge, an idyllic spot in the grounds of the Sudbourne Hall Estate.
Her sculptures are very much defined by the location in which they are created, inspired by the implements used by local fishermen over the centuries to capture such delicacies as those consumed at the Oysterage.
Mussel Boxes, Eel Traps, Sluices, Nets, Ladders and Jetties are the source of her inspiration and through her distinctive process, she imbues her work with the river bed, creating mesmerising textures that give her sculptures the appearance of having been around for centuries, weathered by the ever-changing ebb and flow of the river.
Annie grew up on the river Deben sailing, fishing, swimming and taking constant inspiration from the history of the area. We’re delighted to bring you a unique glimpse into her working space, where she has gathered found objects from the area, herring nets, fossils, shells, even a seal’s skeleton.
On the walls hang canvases imprinted by the patterns that recur in her work. These are beautiful in their own right, like drawings, patterns and markings for her sculpture, visual memories of the work she has created over the years.
While at the studio, Annie showed me some of the pieces she has been working on for a solo show that is scheduled to take place in 2021. She has been lucky to be able to work in her studio during the lockdown as it is only a short distance from her home. Over the next few months, Annie will start work on a new collection for Cavaliero Finn which will debut at Collect 2021 at Somerset House (25-28 February 2021).
Last year, we interviewed Annie about her work, shortly after she’d been selected as a finalist for the Loewe Craft Prize. If you haven’t read the interview already, do follow the link below. It will hopefully give you a good insight into her work and why we are so passionate about it.
Find out more about Annie in our inteview with the artist
Annie Turner: Jetty hand-built stoneware, wall-mounted, approx. 65 cm wide, 2020
Shown here with Blue and Grey Layered Twist Sculpture (sold) and Earth Red Slow Twist
sculpture both by Matthew Chambers
Annie Turner: Detail of Jetty, hand-built stoneware, wall mounted, approx. 65 cm wide, 2020