The distinctive, illustrative and brilliantly confident style of Anna Pinkster captures snapshot details of people and communities from around the world. Presented like a collaged scrapbook of tessellating photographs, a typical canvas by Pinkster will portray individuals of various ethnicities going about their daily business. She blocks out background information with thick, hasty brushstrokes of muted colour, allowing the occasional pencil line to show through. Her sketch-like aesthetic fills each painting with a sense of energy, movement and immediacy. This contrasts with the subtle detailing of each of her depicted figures, which is by no means less fluent. Pinkster beautifully describes posture, form, depth and character with skilfully executed simplicity. Her wonderful use of light and colour picks up the most delicate of details, from the gentle crease in a piece of fabric, to the intricately weaved fibres of a basket.
Pinkster typically focuses on African, Indian and East Asian communities, recording first-hand imagery from her international travels and capturing the sense of innate curiosity that inspires many to explore the world beyond their doorstep. In this latest body of work Pinkster draws imagery solely from Vietnam and focuses on the theme of ‘the market place’. Traders, goods, food, transportation, the occasional jolt of modernity in the form of a branded plastic bag; all these icons build a visual language of commerce, which although are wrapped up in Vietnamese tradition and language, also hint towards trade as a tool for communication on a global level. This is common ground in which trade and exchange are the basis for communities and relationships to develop.
Pinkster’s cultural-specific focus also builds upon an image of national identity. Although she paints individual people, their compositional arrangement on the canvas become like a network of pattern; visual repetitions occur, narratives emerge and their grouping forms a whole.
Since graduating from the West Surry College of Art and Design in 1994, Pinkster has created a strong exhibition presence throughout London and the South West. She has participated in several prizes including the Bath Prize exhibition in 2010, The Holburne Portrait Prize in 2012 and the Black Swan Arts Open. In 2014 she participated in the Bath Society of Artists 109th Annual Exhibition at the Victoria Art Gallery and was awarded the Bath Society of Artists Prize.