Annemarie Buchmann-Gerber (1947-2015)
and Jan Conn (1952- )
Annemarie Buchmann-Gerber, a fabric and visual artist, and Jan Conn, a poet and biologist, began to create large format mixed media pieces in April 2014 in Annemarie’s basement studio in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They quickly discovered that the combination of their skills created a distinctive synergism for their collaborative process. At the beginning, they considered painting mainly poetry texts, but soon realized their joint interests were converging on figurative representation. In some pieces they repurposed some of Annemarie’s painted fragments, and used them to begin their dialogue on canvas; in others, they incorporated fabric remnants for added texture and depth.
Some themes became evident in the earliest pieces: combinations and conflicts of natural and anthropic worlds, obsoleteness of objects, solitude and the weather. Later, they added a focus on gender and sexuality. Each piece generated new associative ideas, so the seven completed works differ, but share an energy and intensity that is the product of two highly engaged artists, focused on making something new. The titles, sometimes phrases from Jan’s poems, add another dimension to the work. Their aim was to create pieces that generated poetic, thoughtful, audience awareness and experience.