Anna Podris & Keith Norval

painting of stairs

Art Life: Paintings by Anna Podris and Keith Norval 

Thurs. October 20, 2022 - Tues. Nov. 22, 2022                                                                  
Opening:  10/20/2022 @ 7pm

Anna Podris and Keith Norval, both Savannah College of Art and Design graduates, are a husband and wife art team who are active in the local arts scene and in art education. They are members of the new City Market Artist Collective – a gallery run for and by artists. They shared a studio at Artspace for 16 years and have showed extensively throughout the triangle. 

Anna and Keith have worked to craft their own version of an “art life”.  Art life extends beyond the studio. It includes sharing creativity with the younger generation through the artists in the schools program and summer camps. Aside from making paintings, they make stickers and repeat pattern fabric. They create playful sculptures with found objects in their backyard. They draw quirky lunch notes for our kid. They plan vacations around galleries and museums which they want to see. They are always ready to be inspired by something they see in life, and to translate it into their paintings. Keith and Anna are a dynamic team!

Keith’s body of work combines abstract elements, steam of consciousness, pop art/comic book influences and anthropomorphic animals with reoccurring characters and situations. Humorous and whimsical with a satirical bent to a lot of the pieces, he works with layers of oil paint to build up a vibrancy of the surface. He aims to explore modern life with a simplified flat approach to the picture plane that explores the universal through personal symbols.

For Anna, painting is a way to depict her own parallel universe.  She sees paintings as portals. This leads her to paint paintings of paintings - which leads to painting interiors. The interiors have a surrealist or magic realist quality. She always includes some of the elements: earth, air, fire and water as a recurring theme in her paintings. 

In a separate series she has focused on the water element specifically. She has explored the implications of being underwater as a metaphor for the subconscious. She enjoys the interplay of light and color on the water’s surface as abstractions emanating from figures. 

Sometimes she creates a visual culture of personified animals in woodland settings, a contemplation of the mystical aspect of nature. Hiking a trail, I may happen upon a deer, owl, beetle, or strange flower. I ask myself why that particular animal or plant appeared to me at that time. What does an owl represent in my subconscious and what symbolic weight does it carry?

Her cityscape paintings are based on memories of architecture. Anna has an affinity for historic districts and craftsmanship. The geometric shape of the window describes the personality of the building, and perhaps the resident. The interior spaces are an arena for surrealist drama.