ucluelet artist anne novak

Ucluelet Artist Anne Novak


Anne fell in love with clay in a grade 11 ceramics class. Her work is very simple, very low tech. Mostly unglazed. All hand-built. She works in series, but each piece is different. She starts with an image, or an idea, but lets it go where it wants to go.

People often ask Anne where she gets her inspiration. For Anne 'Inspiration is like breathing. You take in what is all around you. You absorb it into yourself, and when you exhale it has been changed. I've lived most of my life in small towns on the edge of wilderness. Closer to nature than to the contemporary art world, though I'm aware of both.'

Anne did a year of visual arts at Douglas College in Surrey, and a year in the ceramics studio at Kootenay School of Art, as well as decades of independent study have given her the technical skills and an understanding of clay and fire.

Anne was born in Vancouver in 1953, spent her early childhood in Fort Smith and White Horse, grew up in North Van. She has lived in Ucluelet since 1983.

She and her husband came there on holiday from Prince Rupert, fell in love with the place, and moved there a week later.

Anne also draws and keeps a colour journal – not for exhibit or sale, but the way a musician practices scales. She weaves, knits, sews, and dyes. The large fiber sculptures hanging in the entrance of the Wickanninish Center are hers. She makes collages and assemblages which incorporate found objects and stuff she's made.

Anne finds inspiration from anyone whose art is honest, and direct from the heart, a little bit raw, a little bit dark. Has to be passionate too. Toulouse Lautrec for his incredible drawings, the Polish sculptor Magadalena Abakanowicz, a kid she met selling his ink drawings on the street in Victoria so he could afford to eat. Anne likes to look at landforms, architecture, life forms – 'I'm fascinated by seemingly archetypal patterns which are echoed in the rhythms and structures of my own body.

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Anne Novak - an artist living in Ucluelet - works primarily in ceramics, mostly unglazed, and all hand built.

november 2005

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