Anne Bean

A central and inspirational figure in the UK Live Art scene, Anne Bean is intentionally a difficult artist to categorize. Since the 70s, this ‘uncatchability’ has been a purposefully created strategy to question style, consistency, career and categorization itself. Morphing between numerous contexts, media, collaborations, ideologies and manifestations she challenged herself to follow a trajectory that allowed for fluid, direct and dynamic response, resulting in a huge range of solo and collaborative projects as well as curatorial enterprises worldwide.

“Bean’s [work is] a continuous performance, a continuous response to the world… a ‘magicification’ of the world. The panoply of places she has worked, times of the day or night, interiors, exteriors, seasons, publics, materials, concepts, tools, is astonishing: all shifting but all attuned to unique situations.” Guy Brett

In March and April 2017, Anne Bean has a solo exhibition EMIT at Coleman Project Space, Bermondsey, London; a live performance at the launch event for Performance Magazine Online as part of ReROOted in Humber St Gallery, Hull; and will make a presentation at the Sacred Places: Performances, Politics and Ecologies conference, Liverpool.

Anne Bean’s website

Regarding the Sacred Places conference, the text below was sent by Anne for the conference’s press release, and represents the wider strategies she uses for her work. These include immediate, direct, human responses:



by Anne Bean

The thoughts for my work in Sacred Places changed considerably when I received an email from Poshya Kakl on 31st Jan, 2017, just after the ‘extreme vetting’ executive order for people entering the US.

I met this young Iraqi artist in Iraq-Kurdistan in 2008 and we collaborated there on several projects, leading me to reach out to form PAVES in 2009, a multilateral collective, with Vlasta Delimar from Croatia, Efi ben-David from Israel and Sinead O’Donnell from Belfast, N. Ireland, all artists who have experienced conflict, often tragedy, in their countries.

After many visa refusals, Poshya finally went to USA to study. Her email below came from the States:


I am extremely hopeless and angry again.!........I worked so hard to make it to go in the most liberal country and live in a place free from any borders, after working publicly against ISIS and doing 2 projects in USA it became impossible for me to go back to Iraq and I applied for Asylum two years ago but I didn't even get interviewed yet …. The borders around the world became stronger, bolder, darker, redder, bloodier, And more violence and less humanitarian….. I am reached a point even art can't express what I am going through…... But I don't give up easily I grew up in war zones and survived in many hard situations so I learned enough to not give up easily! ……..

Our ongoing connection and sense of each other ‘being in the world’ is an abstract, uncatchable space and yet I know that the five of us recognise it as a defined place. This is a sacred space. WE are that space. It has no physical or geographical borders. No laws can change that. That is what makes it boundless with infinite potential. In each of their countries, at exactly the time of my presentation these 4 other artists will be doing actions and our strong awareness of each other will be the primary underpinning of the performance.

Categories: Featured Artist

Date Posted: 22 March 2017