Anne J Steves is a visual artist working at the intersection of art and craft primarily through textiles and thread based media. Her work examines the narratives of place and the ways in which craft aesthetics can draw out connections between ourselves and the spaces (both constructed and natural) in which we dwell. In particular, she is interested in place as both a static geographical site and a set of memories, objects and characteristics constantly in motion.
Steves has made use of embroidery, string figure making, off-loom weaving and garment making in her work in a DIY manner that allows for the collapses that are inherent when generational knowledge fails to be passed on. While some of her work shows evidence of intensive labour and hand-craft, other pieces take the form of small, temporary disturbances in the landscape or interactions documented and displayed online. Her work is often instigated by specific sites through artist residency and travel opportunities that allow for interaction with new communities. By placing herself in unfamiliar landscapes, she has developed a constantly shifting process in which chance and community involvement play an important role. So far these have included a year of surface studies at a Ranger Station, a collaborative canoe journey down the Rideau Canal, an exploration of string figure making on Vancouver Island and a study of the traditional wool blankets of Wales.
Born and raised in Wales, Steves made British Columbia, Canada her home in 2000. Her work draws upon a strong Welsh heritage of craft making as well as the experiences of moving from place to place. Since living in Canada, she has received a BFA in Visual Arts from Emily Carr University of Art and Design and an MFA from the University of Victoria. Steves has taught drawing at the University of Victoria as well as courses at the intersection of art and craft at the Vancouver Island School of Art, Gower College, Wales and various community spaces. Her work has been exhibited across Canada and the UK.