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Meet Anna Carll: Showing Change Through The Abstract

Anna Carll on what inspires her abstract artwork and her hopes for the art community

For many the beauty of abstract art comes from its ability of interpretation. Through vibrant arrangements and evolving patterns, artists can convey ideas and thoughts through images in amazing and universal ways, and Anna Carll is one of those artists.

Anna took her first steps into the art world as a graphic designer. She first began her career in design in the 1980s and expected it to be the career she would be in all her life. Painting was just a hobby. Anna ended up unsatisfied with the direction that graphic designing seemed to be taking her and soon found her artwork being welcomed into galleries, prompting her to pursue her paintings full time.

In 2013 she moved to Chattanooga and began living in the Highland Park neighborhood. She soon met fellow artist Kevin Bates and he got her involved with the mural project that was taking place during that time. This was not just Anna’s first time working on a mural, but also her first time creating art for a public project.

“What I really love about Chattanooga is it’s commitment to the public art community,” Anna said.

The paintings that Anna creates have a unique flair to them and immense thought goes into them. Anna says that some of her inspirations include catholic architecture (Anna grew up in the Catholic church), the Wabi-sabi aesthetics style of Japan, and a focus on the transition of time. She is currently working on a collection called the ‘Erosion series’ inspired by the passing of her mother that focuses on the passing of time.

“My focus has always been on bringing beauty into the world,” Anna shared. “I want to be able to do that while uplifting others.”

Anna’s paintings use lines as a way to show changes occurring not just on the canvas, but within life itself. She also uses a lot of color in her works.

“I love color. Color gets reactions. It’s a huge part of our lives and all of my work focuses on aspects of it.”

Chattanooga has become a large source of inspiration for Anna’s work. She has been using her ‘Urban Botanical’ series to show the contrast of the city and nature within it or around it. She uses these to tie her overarching theme of time passing with the cityscape by showing how nature can easily reclaim the urban jungle if given the time to do so.

“Art is a common ground for all of our lives,” Anna says. “It is so important that we bring it to communities.”

Anna has been becoming increasingly involved with the community. For 2020 she has joined with local silk painter Claire Vassort in a union known as 2CREATE. 2CREATE has been recognized by the city of Chattanooga as one of the creative strategist groups for the city’s public art. Anna wants to use this position as a way to bring artwork to the poorer parts of the city to help in revitalizing them.

“We want to know the hopes and dreams of our community. We are going to be working WITH those in the communities we serve to bring them what they want to see, not just FOR them. We want to hear what they have to say.”