kelly anna | artist & print designer

Her bold and colourful prints have caught the eye of Beyonce and Cara Delevingne, she’s worked with the likes of Nike, Stella McCartney and Equinox, and now she’s got a solo exhibition celebrating the female spirit currently showing at The Book Club. Meet artist Kelly Anna…

Where do you live in London and what do you like about the area?

I now live in Peckham. I spent eight years in East London but always had a connection to South. I absolutely love Peckham. My studio at Bussey Building is just down the road from my house. There is such a sense of community there of artists and locals. Its a really lively place to be at home.

Your currently showing She Stole The Show at The book club, talk us through the inspiration behind the exhibition.

I wanted to focus on celebrating the female’s inner champion. Today’s society is filled with constant pressure and self-doubt whether through work, relationships or our online personas. I wanted to explore the dichotomy between these external forces and our own internal strength, examining the links between art, physicality, psychological persistence and drive as tools for coping in this new 24-hour online world we have all been thrown into. The is my first show. So I wanted to create a space that wasn’t just about hanging some framed pieces on the wall. Art for me is about experience and having fun. Being able to escape that day-to-day grind. I got given the opportunity to take over the space for four months, so I decided to look at every section and see how best I could use the areas.

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What’s your fave piece on show and why?

My favourite piece is either the ping pong table collaboration with Art of Ping Pong, or our ball wall which consists of 1,500 ping pong balls saying “SHE’S GOT BALLS”. My favourite thing to do as a creative is to collaborate. Putting two enthusiastic creative minds together can be so powerful!

You’ve worked a lot with Nike, what makes them a good brand to collaborate with?

They were so great to work with, the creative team in Portland were so enthusiastic throughout every stage. They got really excited every time I sent them an updated sketchbook! The running collection project was based around the city we lived in. I designed a menswear t-shirt, a women’s running vest and the new free run trainer. I ended up drawing inspiration from some of the places I run to. For example, I love to run along the Thames, so the water feature played a part on the laces. I used the block shapes from some of my favourite buildings in London and created abstract patterns with these. I also wanted people to know it was London through my eyes, which is where the eye Swoosh logo came from (and a hint towards to London Eye). Growing up I was always around fitness, sport and dancing so the fit felt right, and they are still one of my favourite brands. The experience was incredible!

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Describe your perfect day in London.

Wake up, go for a workout (usually spin) at my local gym in Peckham Rye, and have coffee with my studio partner and her puppy at Brick House. Cycle to see an exhibition at Tate Britain – I loved the Hockney one. Head to my studio in Bussey Building to start the day on whatever project that may be. Have a lunch break at Brockwell Lido and do a spot of swimming. Then have a picnic on my rooftop for dinner with some mates! It’s pretty much what I do most Saturdays and that makes me happy.

‘She Stole The Show’ is a free exhibition running at The Book Club until 4th November 2018.