posted 27 Apr 2017
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Annabel's work crosses over and questions the boundaries between art, design and architecture. Originally from Liverpool, she studied architecture in London and Brighton; after qualifying she worked as an architect in London and then as a scenic artist at the Royal National Theatre before moving to Milan in 1994.
Here she worked initially as a scenic artist and briefly as assistant to Mimmo Rotella, then as project architect for the development of a pioneering, pre-fabricated house in the Piacentine hills. She went on to establish her own design practice, projects included shops, bars, interiors for banks and private houses. During this time she also taught part-time at the Milan Polytechnic and the Instituto Europeo di Design. "Milan was an exciting and stimulating place to live and work as there is a great tradition of architects as highly-creative, multi-disciplinary artists, seen in inspiring figures like Gio Ponti and Ettore Sottsass".
While continuing to maintain strong links with this world through her work as a translator for the Italian art, design and architecture magazine Domus (www.domusweb.it), founded in 1928 by Giò Ponti, in 2004 she transferred to a rural location in the Italian region of Emilia Romagna. Here while slowly restoring her own house, her work expanded further from design into making with drawings and textile pieces that explored the use of traditional handmade techniques in new ways.
In 2012 she returned to Liverpool and began working from a studio at the Bluecoat. In 2014 she presented the exhibition Penthouse (http://www.thebluecoat.org.uk/events/view/events/2044) in the Bluecoat Vide, transforming it into the interior of a domestic apartment that functioned both as a display of work and the setting for various encounters. "The multi-disciplinary aspect of the Bluecoat makes me feel at home here, along with the fact that I came here as a child". She also continues to spend time at her house in Italy, which is also available to other artists who wish to spend time there either to develop their work or to take time out from it.
The various strands of her work are brought together under the name the inhouse gallery, (www.theinhousegallery.com) an ongoing project about the creation of spaces and places along with the making and collecting of things to put in them.