Anna Barham works in a variety of media, including sculpture, video, drawing and performance, investigating states of possibility, incompletion, and disintegration through language and mathematical structures. Her works are often the physical manifestation of thought processes that develop through the manipulation of a variety of parameters and materials, created using a self-prescribed set of rules, and in particular, the rules of the anagram. Since 2007 Barham has used the archaeological discovery of Leptis Magna, an ancient Roman city east of Tripoli as both metaphor and material, making series of drawings charting anagrams of the city's name. In 1816, some fragments of the ruins of Leptis Magna were used to build an artificial ruin at Windsor Great Park for George IV, which within this new context developed an entirely new meaning. Just as the excavated stones formed the foundations of an imaginary ruin, so in Barham's work the letters in the city's name become the building blocks of new poetry and prose, revealing the limitations and possibilities, as well as the associative potential within the production of meaning.
For the last year Barham has been writing a book from anagrams of the expanded phrase "Return to Leptis Magna", and as research, compiling a vast collection of all the possible words that can be created from it. For PANORAMING she has developed a new video work, which forms the initial chapter of her exploration of the idea of the terrain defined by these words considered as a set. This will be integrated into a new 'site', one of the artist's seating / viewing structures, and shown alongside a new set of drawings generated from the phrase.
Anna Barham (b. 1974) has exhibited across Europe and the USA including Tate Modern and the ICA in London, Le Plateau/FRAC, Paris and the New Orleans Biennial. Forthcoming shows include Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm and The Lab, San Francisco. She studied philosophy and mathematics at Cambridge and completed a degree in Fine Art from Slade School of Fine Art. The artist lives and works in London.