Anne Christinat-Fellay grew up in a village in the Swiss Valais region, where the dramatic peaks and valleys of the landscape instilled an early and long-lasting love of nature and the mountains. As a child she learned to appreciate the fluidity and expression of design and art by watching her father, an architect,who also drew vividly accurate pencil portraits of family and friends.
Aged just 16 Anne convinced her parents to let her study at Geneva’s Collège Voltaire,in the arts department. After graduating with honours Anneworked in London in a creative team of young designers. Upon returning toSwitzerland she studied art and design at the ECAL Lausanne. Her pragmatic side drew her to a successful career in design for luxury brands, but art was always her passion and she maintained an atelier at home, creating at night and on weekends.
Anne’s work often begins with a question from her life or a challenge she is pondering. She addresses these questions on canvas, with bold, sweeping strokes that reflect her deep curiosity about the world and the effect her surroundings have on her. The influence of nature—its colours, textures and emotions—is ever-present in Anne’s art.
In 2010, after a move to Ticino in southern Switzerland, she began experimenting with cubes as a format and frame for her work. She sees the function of the cube as a reflection of moments in life that make up the whole: happy, sad, fleeting and steady. This period also saw her work take a contemplative shift inwards, which coincided with a deepening of her love for Japanese culture, practicing Kendo and Iaido (1stDan).
Her deep love of Japanese aesthetics and philosophy is strongly expressed in the colours she uses in her art: black, white and the striking raw indigo. She blends these colours in a way that mirrors the harmony between the self and nature and charts life’s natural lows and highs.
Her work plays with the idea of fate and life choices. The natural shades of the raw indigo shift depending on how the light hits them—another manifestation of the unpredictable yet harmonious rhythm of life. This shift gives the work a three-dimensional quality which also reflects the artist’s curiosity and joy at seeing life unfold.
Anne’s love of texture and raw materials is evident in what she chooses for a canvas: linen, Japanese paper, sand surfaces and especially hand-made paper, each square crafted with purpose and meaning.