“Circe" by Anna Hunter, 2022, gouache on paper, 12x16. This piece was most recently on display at Acansa Gallery with the exhibit "Femininity on the Altar: Finding Femme in Folklore."
ON THIS PIECE:
"One of the original witch figures in Western folklore, Circe is an icon in Greek mythology. Through the years, Circe has been depicted in all forms of media as an object of both fear and desire, an archetype of the predatory female. Recently, however, she has come to be viewed under a new lens — one of independence personified. Circe is self-sufficient, taking care of and protecting herself and her home all while learning the art of witchcraft.
Madeline Miller’s bestselling novel Circe explores the goddess’s life, telling it from Circe’s own perspective and her path to coming to terms with herself: 'I was not surprised by the portrait of myself… The proud witch undone before the hero's sword, kneeling and begging for mercy. Humbling women seems to me a chief pastime for poets. As if there can be no story unless we crawl and weep.'
The Circe piece examines the urge to retire this old narrative. It is part of a series that has led me to this: reframing the women of myth and lore to acknowledge the true capacity of their complex nature, the hidden and untold parts of their stories, the parts left willfully ignored or shrouded by the passing of time."
Anna Hunter is an illustrator living in central Arkansas. Throughout Hunter’s life, mythology always spoke to her. Across her art, she seeks to explore myth and magic and represent ancient stories with modern tradition.
Known for her limited color palette and decorative flair, Hunter works mainly in gouache, but loves to experiment with digital tools. She notes JC Leyendecker, Karl James Mountford, Glen Keane and Mary Blair as some of her main influences.
Hunter received her bachelor of arts in studio art from Hendrix College in Conway and her master of fine arts in illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia.
In 2020, Hunter was recognized by the 3X3 International Illustration Awards. Her work has been featured in publications such as Port City Review, Drawn Volume.4 Leaders in Contemporary Illustration and 3X3 Illustration Annual.