Originally from Auckland, NZ, Ann Ciciani graduated from the University of Otago and then Auckland University with a B.Sc and M.Sc. (Hons) in 1991 with a major in Zoology. During her time at University she was painting abstracts in oils and was greatly attracted to the work of Joan Miro and the evolution of his symbolic language throughout his life as an artist.
After graduating from University, she worked on several Wildlife Conservation projects in various locations around the world including Hawaii, Barbados and France. In Hawaii, she became interested in the mythology and the symbolism of ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs. After a period of travelling, she settled for a while in London working in the financial sector and then later at the BBC Natural History Unit in Bristol. During this time she continued painting in oils and experimenting with a variety of abstract techniques.
After meeting her Italian husband in London, Ann started to spend extensive periods of time in Rome, learning the language and later raising their young daughter in a small town called Grottaferrata in the Castelli Romani near Rome. During this time, she visited many galleries and was greatly stimulated by both the contemporary and classical arts on show there. However, perhaps a greater influence was to come from outside the art galleries. Wandering through the streets of the Eternal City further nourished an interest in ancient mythology and symbolism. The architecture, frescoes, statues and ruins of Rome and the stories they tell, provided a rich source of stimulation. Further travels to Turkey, Egypt, Belize, Mexico and Greece continued to nurture a fascination with symbolism and mythology of ancient cultures. This, alongside with an enduring interest in Carl Jung’s work on Archetypes in human culture (e.g. Man and his Symbols-by Carl G. Jung), Synchronicity and the Collective Unconscious would provide a rich source of inspiration for future art works.
After fourteen years abroad, Ann returned to New Zealand in 2012 with her family and began to focus more strongly on her passion for creating contemporary art. It was during this time she moved from working in oils to working with 3D mediums like Plaster of Paris and resin casts. The first 3D piece she created is called ‘True Self’ in 2014. This was a significant work in that, as well as a celebration of coming home, it signified a commitment to finally seriously pursue a career in contemporary conceptual art and the start of a new, more focused direction embracing ideas of symbolism and synchronicity. Moving from the Old World (Rome) to the New World (New Zealand) shifted her focus from ancient archetypes to modern archetypes in popular culture.
An exploration of archetypes of popular culture and how they relate to our modern day ‘myths’, that is films, stories and toys. Ann uses 3D casts made from resin and Plaster of Paris to create a landscape of sculpture on board, in which the play of light is also a primary focus.
‘We make toys, write stories and watch films in order to better understand ourselves. The archetypes in current popular culture are an evolution of the cave drawings and myths of ancient people. Just as they used to do, in contemporary society we are still creating these images, toys and stories to better see and understand ourselves and understand the culture we are living in. In this way, the collective consciousness mirrors itself and understands itself better and in doing so continues to evolve’.
After the culmination of the Iconography collection in the pivotal work Metanoia and influenced by growing interest in the work of Joseph Chilton Pearce (Crack in the Cosmic Egg-New Constructs in Mind and Reality) the Iconography Collection has evolved into a new area of exploration; New ways of looking at reality and the subjective nature of reality e.g. Folie A Deux,Glimpse Through the Veil, Various Stages of Beeing and Amour Plastique which can be seen on the Latest Works page. These works are about breaking out of the traditional logical way of thinking, popping the cultural balloon, breaking down boundaries and categories and exploring new possible realities. There are some exciting new works that are currently in the pipeline. Watch this space for more...
An existential inquiry into the nature of mortality and the possibility of an afterlife. This collection is mainly influenced by ideas derived from spiritual texts of Buddhist origin and the works of Herman Hesse (Siddhartha).
A bit of cheeky fun social commentary in the form of word art.
Repetition of form, beauty in the broken, the origin of consciousness and the bridging of the gap between science and spirituality due to recent developments in quantum physics, are also other topics of interest she is currently exploring. These underlying ideas influence her works across a variety of collections.