Bluebeany makes the most amazing collection of metaphorical, sensory-rich montages that combine the obvious and the obscure in these luxuriant entertaining worlds on the borders of gentle nightmare and domestic dreamland. She is a great example of the artist as shaman. Her masks and shape-changing personas are all placed in recognisable locations and modern dress. Metaphors are combined to create new reactions to old stereotypes and archetypes. Her love of image, and pop culture and her friends keeps her inspired – working to transform and entertain through this stunning art. Many people live with Bluebeany on their walls – as does she herself. It is magical work, not only the magic of the photographic moment captured and edited, but the magic that comes from fascination and excitement about people.
Like stepping through pages of dark faerie tales, trying on different heads for size. Imagery just as likely to be re-inventing a musician's creative identity, as adorning gallery walls in ornate frames; her work is part dreamlike Dali; part magic realism of Dahl; part homage to horror and all Bean.
The line between this world and the one which Anna's creations inhabit is gossamer thin. Often using friends and family members in her lavish scenes, the images simultaneously invite and unnerve the viewer.
Attention to detail, to time and period, lend the images authenticity, lavish costume, make-up and masks appeal to the extrovert and the introspect equally: perfectly easy to hide behind a mask.
Anna's chimeric world has escaped the confines of the frame of late, to dance and move on the stage, in contemporary shows and festival settings.
The garish sheen of Gothic horror/fantasy is unmistakably Anna Bean with a storyteller's hand she creates scenes that play on the irresistible power and infinite possibilities of transformation. You can be anything in here anything, anything at all.
For centuries anthropomorphism has been captivating the minds of children and adults alike ever since the wolf leaped out of bed wearing grandma's nightdress and cap and gobbled the little girl up...
I am a freelance photographic artist and a lecturer at the School of Creative Arts, Hull College. I create surreal tableaux inspired by old masters, myths, fairy tales, cult films and television programmes watched as a child. I usually collaborate with friends and family who appear as subjects within my work and they adore dressing up and transforming into new, sometimes absurd characters. My work also links strongly to the themes of the Gothic and the Uncanny. I would describe my work as darkly enchanting and familiar yet uncomfortably strange.
Anna Bean 2014