Sunrise/Sunset II

Anna Barriball (1972 - )

Pencil on paper


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  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Government Art Collection
    Made by placing a large piece of paper over a stained glass window, and rubbing it with a pencil, Sunrise/Sunset II is a drawing that assumes the qualities of a sculpture. The paper warps because of the repetitive and heavy pencil lines, and becomes physically present, blurring the boundaries between drawing and sculpture. Anna Barriball’s work emphasises physicality and substance. Her work is process-led, whereby the method is as important as the subject of the artwork. Trying to make sense of form and matter through the act of creation, she reveals poetic and magical features in otherwise mundane things.  

    The Art Deco imagery of a sunrise was a popular motif for domestic glass windows in both Britain and America in the 1920s and 1930s.  The work Sunrise/Sunset II, recalls Sir John Betjeman’s 1973 epic ode to London’s suburbia, Metroland. In his poem Betjeman praised and lamented the passing of a less frenetic age, when the term ‘Metro-Land’ was used as a promotional slogan for the Metropolitan Railway between 1915 and 1930. Later incorporated into the London Underground as the Metropolitan Line, the railway promised to transform the lives of city dwellers. New stations created suburban districts that provided housing with large gardens. Metro-Land offered a glimpse of the countryside whilst still in commutable distance from the city, and the sunrise window inset into front doors, so favoured by building developers, emphasised this notion of tranquillity on your doorstep. 

  • About the artist
    Born in Plymouth, Anna Barriball attended the Falmouth School of Art (1991–92), Winchester School of Art (1992–95) and Chelsea College of Art (1999–2000). She has exhibited in the UK and internationally since 1995, with a first two-person exhibition at the Arnolfini, Bristol (2003), followed by a first solo show at Frith Street Gallery, London (2004). Barriball lives and works in London.
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  • Details
    Sunrise/Sunset II
    Pencil on paper
    height: 33.50 cm, width: 43.00 cm
    Purchased from Frith Street Gallery, January 2007
    none visible
    GAC number