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Anna Noel (1958-) was born in Swansea, South Wales. She makes figurative raku ceramics in the form of small animals, in both porcelain and earthenware, inspired by circus life, Tang sculptures and the Mabinogion. She trained at the Bath Academy of Art (1979-1982) where she specialised in ceramics and obtained a First Class degree. The head of department was John Colbeck, her course tutor was Jill Radford and she was able to develop her own predilection towards figurative sculptural ceramics. In 1991 she took the MA in ceramics at the Royal College of Art. She initiated changes in her work whilst continuing to make raku-fired animal figures, as did her sister Sarah Noel.
Animals have been the focus of Anna Noel's creative interest. Inspiration has been sought from a wide range of historic art sources; medieval carvings, Indian miniatures, Pre-Columbian and Assyrian art, Tang earthenware figures, fairground and circus animals as well as present-day ethnic arts. It is a rich mix that finds expression in highly expressive animal figures that have a strongly individual character. The pieces are handbuilt and strikingly decorated in order to exploit firing by the raku process, emphasising the monochromatic aspect of raku.
A recent series of modelled cats clearly reflect her interest in ancient, ethnic and folk art. Her first show at Oxford Gallery (1988) proved enormously successful and has triggered several more exhibitions showing a wider range of work. Since the 1980s she has shown her work in the Beaux Art Gallery in Bath.
About Anna Noel
'Raku Figures: Sarah & Anna Noel at Aberystwyth Arts Centre' Crefft/Craft WAC 41, December 1986
'Tea Time' Ceramic Review 104, March/April 1987, p 23
David Briers 'Anna Noel and Sarah Noel' Ceramic Series 17, Aberystwyth, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Between 1984 and 1986