I am a freelance photographic artist and a lecturer at Hull College. My work recalls a long tradition of staged narratives and theatrical role-playing in art. I utilise the camera and various tools of the cinema and theatre, such as makeup, costumes, props, and scenery, to create dream-worlds filled with Gothic horror and surreal humour.  I am inspired by cinema, theatre, television programmes and old masters. In creating these tableaux I am exploring the possibilities of the transformation of the everyday.  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.  Alongside my photographic work I also create photo-montage, collage, digital collage and lino prints.  I quite often appropriate existing images and re-imagine them in a new context.  My most recent work has been experimenting with transforming my 2D created worlds into 3D immersive theatrical experiences allowing the audience to walk in and become part of these imaginary spaces. Anna Bean

 

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...   Michelle Dee