My personal experiences and influences

Rainer Maria Rilke once said: "one has to absorb all one is sensitive to, the feeling about nature, a different time , the feeling about people, and what they do to each other, the world, the sky, the sea and make it one's own. So it becomes one's own blood, and then put it back into a verse". I will say:.."put it back in a painting".
So all the work comes from what you are, what you are made of, your personal experience. and if the work is whole, it will hopefully transcend you and become part of the broader human experience.

Born in Brussels, Belgium, I was raised in a small country, crossroad of European history from the Roman times onwards, rich in cultural and art history. My roots go deep into that land and are always with me. It is there that I spent my childhood roaming the flat lands and wide beaches of the coast of the North Sea. It is there that I nurtured my love of the natural world, wide open spaces and the infinity of horizons.
As a small child, I also witnessed the fears and destruction of WWII. These experiences have resurfaced in my art, exploring the emotional memories and sense of loss pervading crumbling walls and sheared houses. They also resulted in many works on violence and its aftermath.
As a young adult, I came to live in the United States. I became an American citizen, continued my artistic education, became a mother and a professional artist. For many years I expressed in semi abstract, textured landscapes and collages, the beauty of the nature around me: in particular the land of the Piedmont of Virginia, where I live, as well as my passion for vast arid lands and deserts, where I traveled.
In the late 80's I visited several mediterranean countries. The overwhelming historical and physical connections to the past that I experienced in those countries as well as my personal roots in a very old culture, led to new directions in my art and to the creation of a continuing series of works exploring the transformative effects of the passage of time on the natural world and our human presence: the beauty of the natural layers of patina but also the layers of ancient cultures, of our creativeness, our destructiveness.
And now, as technology, information noise and virtual reality envelops us, I also feel an urgent necessity to express our fundamental need to remain rooted in the organic reality of our world, as well as our need for silence and a sense of the infinite mystery that is still part of the human condition.
These experiences and passions that have molded me have surfaced in my art as broad themes that I have constantly revisited as my work has evolved and matured. I revisit them because they are part of what I am.



... . guns, knives
grenades, rockets
spewing rain
of nails and fire
men, women, children
torn, charred
blown bodies
buried lives
victims of wars
genocide, tortures
victories and defeats
victims of power
and fear and greed
got to have it all
nobody will
push me around
gotta survive
I am bigger and better
than you are
you’re nothing
you’re bad
got a knife
a gun
a rocket
a tank
want a father
a mother
a home, a family
want to play and work
and love and sleep
in the warm sun
and the light air
you will
I will
we will survive
and love
and understand
and bury

From the poem "Violence"
Anne Slaughter, 1993
writings - violence
writings - violence



the imprint of a hand
the stone inscribing rock
the stick incising clay
the feather gliding on parchment
the inkpen writing on paper
the mouse clicking on the screen

the marks we make
our lives, our thoughts, our creativity

the past
the present

our impermanence

a continued exploration

Writings became part of my work, when many years ago, I started creating mixed media expressions of the passage of time, our transience and the different forms that memory can take. I became more intrigued with the act of handwriting as I reread many old letters from family and friends. I was struck by the depth and individuality of expression in the detailing of events, lives, and emotions. The letters became scarcer as the telephone and computer took over as our daily communication tools. One can, then, imagine that the writing of letters and the richness of relating that they represented, might become obsolete and slide into our cultural past.

Anne Slaughter, 2001


"They were here…They were gone…They were somewhere in time...
(John Casey-Spartina)

Layers of civilization, traces of man’s creativity,
Materialism, spirituality and violence…
Remains of vanished cities on the land,
The fragility of an old manuscript
The patina of earth and water on a bronze vessel,
An ancient wall...

Markings of time and the elements on the natural world
And the imprint of men...
All silent, stilled evocations of what is beautiful,
Timeless, mysterious.

I have always had a deep affinity for the textures, colors, and forms created by the passage of time. Whether I hold a smooth rock in my hand, marvel at a desert cliff, or wander in ancient ruins, it always reminds me that there are forces greater than we are and that puts our everyday lives in a different perspective.

Anne Slaughter, 1990