About the artist
Anna-Maria Cahalane is an artist and tutor living & working in Brockley, South East London and Chair of Nature Conservation Trust. She is also an Arts Award Advisor for the Arts Council.
Born in 1973, I graduated from Camberwell College of Art & Design in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in fine art and ceramics. I then gained a Post Graduate Certificate in Education specialising in teaching art. My early work explored body politics and how our physical identify is defined by our early experiences and by the pressures of our interactions whether through advertising, relationships or religion etc..
I spent the next 12 years dedicating my career to teaching art to disadvantaged people in the community. I felt that the individuals I was lucky enough to teach had interactions and experiences with the world that fostered a unique creativity that most artists can only dream of having.
Through exploring different themes, different materials and different approaches to connecting with my clients, I found that art was the ideal means of removing barriers, taboos and stereotypes while enabling individuals to explore their creatively and become happier and more confident. As such I have delivered highly successful workshops to those with mental health support needs, dementia, autistic spectrum conditions and learning disabilities/difficulties.
In 2006 I had my first child, Daisy-Betony, and in 2012 my second child, Lola-Niamh. Through being a parent I was naturally drawn to a new focus in my career and began to design children’s creative projects. I have successfully led a number of projects aimed at providing safe and creative environments for children to connect with their feelings through art.
While looking after my children and working as a teacher or project lead, my own art took a back seat for some time but once both of my children started to attend school I have once again been able to create my own art.
I continue to offer workshops in schools and to community groups but in addition I now enjoy painting murals and creating portraits that capture the personality of my subjects and that particular moment in time, such as the arrival of a new baby or a child enjoying the freedom of being five and blowing bubbles at the sky.