Anna Sampson is an autodidactic, photographic artist who shoots and prints exclusively on film and polaroid. A graduate in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Arts (2015), her work has showcased at Doomed Gallery (London) 2017; Turner Contemporary in Margate; Parallel in Vienna and The Untitled Space in New York. Anna has also featured in acclaimed cult publications as Dazed, i-D, Purple Fashion and The Face. Her work is borne out of a lifelong fascination with the body ‘as both a site of fetishization and transience, on which power struggles are played out.’
Her art seeks to harness the erotic potential of the (female) body whilst exploring the various strategies of negation and resistance employed through performance and representation. In her more recent work, Anna turns her lens on the various stages of dress and undress, exploring the interplay of fetishism, sedition, queerness and the avant-garde. Anna’s work is motivated by life experience, and all her work is heavily informed by intersectional feminism - specifically the intersection of gender and sexuality with race, class and the politics of the personal – and is further supported by academic inquiry. In this instance, she hopes that her recent postgraduate study of Gender & Sexuality at UCL will continue to inspire and inform her art (and vice versa) with the ultimate goal of working towards social justice for those who are marginalized and oppressed by the patriarchy. Her full archive is with the UK Leather & Fetish Archive at Bishopsgate Institute.
Zines sold out at the LN-CC, Claire de Rouen and the Photographer's Gallery (bookstore).
my manifesto/artist statement
The patriarchy and society continue to shun female behaviour that demonstrates autonomy and sexual agency. In my work, I seek to subvert and overthrow this notion; to transcend and negate gender clichés to demonstrate that gender, like sexuality, can be fluid and non-binary. Whilst I aim to challenge the stigma of female (and queer) sexuality and embrace the power of the Erotic, I also look to create a space where strong and powerful humans can be represented and celebrated without constraint or castigation.
My artistic practice unites those who perform with their sexuality and intellect, unashamedly and unapologetically. By liberating women from the male-constructed images that have defined “femininity” through the decades; the work looks to the end of sexist oppression and unequal exploitation. My work has always been influenced and driven by rage and frustration, as well as by the underlying desire to provoke the status quo and societal constraints we, as “the Other”, have been subjected to. I seek to challenge the notion of gendered identity, both dominated and defined for centuries by the male heterosexual gaze, by reframing female sexualities independent from their male correlatives. To dismantle compulsive heterosexuality should be a uniting objective for feminism, for this dominant structure is inherently oppressive to women and sexual minorities. I hope to achieve this by embracing “otherness” and representing authentic moments of queer intimacy and pleasure as a legitimate alternative to compulsive heterosexuality.
Playing with representation of the body and identity, femininity, and power; whilst exploring the amalgamation of fetish fashion and queer culture are key themes within my artistic practice. It is unapologetic voices and sexuality politics that is my driving force. I hope to show that art can position sexuality as an educational, playful, and insightful tool whilst providing a visual language to symbolise the bodies and voices that are policed, censored, and marginalised. We can see how art and sexuality - fuelled by emotions and experience - can be essential for lasting social and political change. I hope to demonstrate the power that sexually explicit art can have in shaping feminist and queer futures, and why intimate and authentic representations are more critical than ever in a time of overt global patriarchal and capitalist oppression.