Anna Austin is just one of a handful of mezzotint artists practicing in Australia. Her small prints are quiet and unassuming: cherries that float amongst pools of black, teacups balanced precariously on benches, and floral arrangements that weave and settle amongst themselves. Yet there is a history and symbolism that emerges within the prints, recalling the highly symbolic vanitas of the 1500s and their elusive portrayals of emptiness, transience and death. The still life, with its representations of religion and wealth, also becomes a celebration of the domestic object, nature and posterity.
Objects take pride of place amongst the home. They act as beacons of travel, symbols of status and icons of wealth. It is almost instinctive to collect and arrange these objects- to remind ourselves of what we have achieved, where we have been and what has brought us joy. To depict these collections of ‘things’ is to celebrate our own histories as much as it is to commemorate nature itself. From the repeated motifs of flowers, ribbons and fruits to the installation and reworking of years of ideas, collection is a celebration of memory, humility, nobility and change.
– Lauren Sutter, 2009