Vale of White Horse artist Anne Mills grew up in a landscape of sheep and wheat in New South Wales, Australia.

Which might explain her fascination with myths and legends, her digital art aiming to try to capture the elusiveness of an ancient environment.

Developed from the layering of photos she takes with other imagery, Anne enjoys adding a fun and fantastical twist to recognisable and evocative local landscapes. 

The Farringdon Folly

“Adding an unexpected element into everyday scenery makes you look again and tells a tale through that invented moment,” she explains.

Fascinated by local legends, her pictures include both modern myths and historical anecdotes that track The Ridgeway to the south.

These might include sleeping and fiery dragons, a spitfire flying, past or the famous white horse galloping west.

“The White Horse story that I really love is the Sun Catcher,” smiles Anne. “It is said that he races towards the West to capture the Sun so he can return it to the East for the next morning’s rise.

The white horse shod at Waylands Smithy

“And 2020 is believed to be a centenary year of the shoeing of The White Horse by the legendary blacksmith Wayland the Smith, so once again I find myself dreaming about fire, flames and the forge.” 

Other new pieces for Artweeks include depictions inspired by the parties held by the famously eccentric Lord Berners of Faringdon.

In past weeks, with thoughts of people in lockdown and isolation, Anne was also moved to start a new ‘meditation series’, to help those who are trying to find tranquility through contemplation.

“I know many people find it difficult to visualise a peaceful or calming place to ‘be’ at the moment,” she explains, “and I wanted to create something to bring some rest and respite.

“In this rather frightening time, these new pictures are evocative of the sound of gentle waves lapping the shore, or the soothing fall of water in a quiet woods as you stroll between tall and strong trees.” 

Anne Mills meditation

Anne is also known for making bespoke bellows from a variety of woods – from contemporary pale sycamore to traditional English oak and Highwayman black–

To see Anne’s work go to  http://www.annemills.net and visit http://www.artweeks.org to see the work of local artists throughout May during the Oxfordshire Artweeks festival or follow #oxfordshireartweeks on Instagram.  Art weeks runs until May 25.

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