Anna-Karina Hermkens is also known as Bumble Hill Atelier. In addition to doing research and lecturing at Macquarie University, Anna-Karina is exploring and establishing an ‘anthropology_in_art’ practice which fuses theory and research with her own ceramics and painting.
Drawing upon my anthropological research on processes of becoming, and more specifically, on how human/nature interactions, and beliefs and values are materialised, this body of work focuses on the interconnection between humans, and animals. The handbuilt figurative and abstract human-animal ceramic figures challenge representations of human bodies; highlighting the ways in particular the female body has been stereotyped through animal mimicry and projections, at the same time elucidating the human tendency to both anthropomorphise and self-identify with animals. The handbuilt elongated vessels with their female figurative designs refer to the social and ritual significance of vessels (carrying water) and how women embody vessel-like qualities as bearers of life. Both sculptures and vessels express the ambiguity and precariousness of being human.