The shield is a tool of war, a symbol of protection and fear.
Anna’s series of False Shields represent a human fear and disconnection from nature, a desire to protect ourselves from what we don’t understand, a barrier between us and the natural world.
We construct false shields within an attempt to control and contain nature; they are destined to fail. They are full of gaps, ignorance and a false sense of power and importance.
The technique of looping fibre is derived from indigenous people’s string bag/net making. Although it’s a traditional looping stitch used by many indigenous cultures, it is not a traditional design nor uses traditional materials. Anna is not an indigenous artist and each shield has its own unique modern design.
Anna’s use of looping is an acknowledgement of the knowledge held by Australia’s First Nations, their respect and management of this environment for over 60,000 years. A connection that is enviable, and one that non-indigenous Australia needs to appreciate and learn from.
The vine frames and the loops themselves hold a tension, representative of the current pressure, rigidity and conflict in the human relationship with its environment. The colour and decorative aspects of the weavings however may also convey a deep respect and admiration for nature’s beauty and complexity, which will ultimately prevail.