Annie Luke Turner

Elected to the Society 2023

Annie has been working as an artist and teacher for 20 years since gaining a First Class degree at Cheltenham School of Art. She now lives in Kendal.

Annie exhibits and sells her work both in the UK and internationally and has completed residencies in England, Scotland and Italy.

Annie’s paintings are rooted in an emotional response to the landscape. They evolve from a feeling for a place, it might be the light, it might be the shapes, the colours, the sense of what may have gone on there before. She is particularly drawn to understanding and investigating the history of a place.

Recently Annie has been researching ‘thin places’ – places which somehow feel magical and ethereal perhaps because of memories of past human activity and marks in the landscape. Thin places have a particular energy – as if the connection to the landscape, the seasons and the past is tangible.The experience of thin places goes beyond the limits of the senses; like Annie’s work itself, it’s about a feeling or an atmosphere, something to do with the essence of a place rather than simply its appearance.

Annie has always had an interest in archaeology and standing stones. From an early age her parents took her to remote and ancient places. A recent series of work include studies of the stone circles at Castlerigg near Keswick and Long Meg and her daughters near Penrith. Working alongside archeologists also inspires the ideas and the development of the paintings.

“I spend time in the place just sitting and listening, then moving on to sketching – often quite figuratively, sometimes with eyes closed using the memory of the place to guide the pencil. The sketchbook provides a direct link back to the place so I can open it and be transported back there. It also helps me to understand what it is that I’m becoming interested in, for example, the standing stone drawings were about the shapes of the stones, the grooves and marks on the stones and the fact they seemed to ‘glow’ and appeared ghost – like against the darker background. Back in the studio, whether on paper or canvas, what usually happens next is a process of mark-making, deleting and editing. It becomes a conversation between the artist and the painting. I am looking for a balance between unpredictable moments happening with the materials and a control with the composition”.