Ahn Wells makes work across the mediums of painting, works on paper and textiles and occasionally clay. She combines the traditions of craft work found in the home with the art vocabulary of minimalism and abstract art learnt during formal art study. With a sensitivity towards her artmaking process, her work utilises both traditional and non-traditional art materials and techniques to explore ideas of repetition, order/disorder, surface manipulation and pattern formation. She is primarily concerned with process-driven and non-objective art.
In February 2015, Ahn opened her own gallery, Gallery 139 located at 139A Beaumont St, Hamilton. In 2019, the gallery moved out of the shopfront location and currently exhibitions online. In 2018, Ahn started writing weekly for The Weekender, Newcastle Herald; initially for ‘What’s On’ and in 2019, feature articles on art and artists in Newcastle. Read articles HERE.
For as long as I can remember, my art has been pushed forward by obsession. Obsession with repetition; obsession with a material; obsession with a design; obsession with a process but within this obsession lies a yearning to discover, reveal and accept difference and variation.
My work is contradictory. While on one hand it is informed by art history (it is influenced by a Minimal Art aesthetic) on the other, I find myself highly influenced by the processes and techniques I learnt while growing up, the homely crafts that have been passed onto me from my mother.
In this sense, my work combines the art histories I’ve learnt through formal study with the lessons I’ve learnt from within the family home. As Australian Artist Rosalie Gascoigne said “Your art has to come out of your daily life…I really believe that if anyone is born an artist they’ve only got to look at what‘s round their feet and what’s available to them”.
From this point of view, my work is how I interpret the world around me. A world where each day is the same but slightly different. My work is slowly moving, changing, mutating into something more than it was yesterday, that is why I continue to make new work. Every time I pick up a pencil and draw or crochet a new material into a loop, I know that it will eventually lead into a new body of work. Sometimes it’s immediate, sometimes it’s years later. It’s the not knowing when that excites me and reminds me that it’s good to have an obsession.