Dr Anna Walker
Brief Bio: Anna Walker is an artist and writer who has exhibited her work internationally. She was awarded an MA in Fine Art from Southampton University in 1998, and a certificate in Psychotherapy from CBPC, Cambridge, in 2010. An interest in the effects of trauma on the body, developed during her training as a psychotherapist, led her to PhD research in Arts and Media at Plymouth University, which she completed in 2017. She is a contributing researcher to the Transtechnology Research group at Plymouth University. Her research continues to balance the autoethnographic with the critical, utilising personal experiences to facilitate a greater understanding of trauma, history and its wider cultural implications.
Recent Exhibitions, presentations and Screenings:
- 8 May 2017, ‘Remembering,’ 18.53 minutes, moving imagery, (2015-2016), Jill Craigie Cinema, Plymouth University. ‘Six Fragments,’ (2014-2016), Plymouth University.
- 1 April 2017, ‘Remembering,’ 18.53 minutes, moving imagery (2015-2016); ‘Future Imperfect Symposium’, Plymouth University.
- 28 January 2017, ‘Walk II,’ a 26-minute sound piece; ‘Voice and Identity: Touches, Textures, Timbres’ symposium, University of Winchester.
- 28 June 2016, ‘Six Fragments,’ (2014-2016), ‘Remembering,’ (2015-2016), Jill Craigie Cinema, Plymouth.
- 16 July 2015, ‘Falling’, (2014) ‘Ghost-walk,’ (2015), The Undivided Mind Thursday, Plymouth University.
- 25 April 2014, ‘9/11 Flashbacks,’ (2014), Journeys across media, Reading University.
- 25 September 2015 – 16 January 2016,’The Dead’, (2015), locative sound artwork, ‘ARTIST ROOMS Gerhard Richter: Plymouth Museum and Arts Gallery
- 18 November, – 2 December 2013 ‘Memory that I am, yet that I also wait for…’* (2012-2013), Plymouth Arts Centre
- 6-18 August 2013 ‘Memory that I am, yet that I also wait for…’* (2012-2013) Karst, Plymouth
- December 2015, ‘The Body In Between, the dissociative experience of trauma.’ Technoetic Arts, Volume 13, Number 3, December 2015, pp. 315-322(8)
- September 2015, ‘In and out of memory: exploring the tension when remembering a traumatic event.’ Journal for Artistic Research, (JAR), September, 2015 http://www.researchcatalogue.net/view/99519/99520
- October 2014, The Trauma of the Flashback: Memory and its Suffering Negotiated
Through ’September’, a Painting by Gerhard Richter.’ PsyArt, Oct 14, 2014
- 2013, ’Falling (1)’ Volume 12, Body Space and Technology, (BST), 2013 http://people.brunel.ac.uk/bst/vol12/
PhD Thesis research:
In and out of memory: exploring the tension between remembering and forgetting when recalling 9/11, a traumatic event.
My research is an unravelling of a traumatic memory to describe, understand and answer questions about the ‘trauma body.’ In my research, I put forward the idea that traumatic memories are detached memories with an emotional resonance that fixes them historically in a specific place and time, unwieldy anchors for a body that is neither here (present), nor there (in the past). I analyse this paradox from philosophical and psychoanalytical perspectives. Through a layered arts practice of text, sonic art work, and moving and still imagery I examine the tension where trauma meets memory, whether in an attempt to forget, or an effort to remember. Memory in this context is perceived as crucial towards understanding oneself socially, culturally and personally, whilst trauma is understood as an experience borne by the act of ‘leaving,’ wherein the mind’s coping mechanism overwhelmed by shocking external events fractures or splits.
I began this process by revisiting a journal written on the day of and days following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. A journal that had remained closed and unread until starting my research in 2012. My aim was to deconstruct my memory of this traumatic event, lay it to rest and explore the latent witnessing that defies assimilation into a narrative. I employ autoethnography as a methodology to facilitate a greater understanding of trauma and its wider cultural implications, overlaying my personal memories upon a well-established collective memory of 9/11. Autoethnography, in this instance, is a reformulation of ethnography or anthropology, an in-depth examination of context incorporating cross-disciplinary approaches. With an emphasis on self-reflection and subjective participation, as both the artist and the owner of certain memories, my intention was to engage a larger epistemological discussion of the meeting place of trauma and memory.
Six Fragments, (Moving Imagery and sound, 32.58 minutes, 2014-2016) and Remembering, (Moving Imagery and sound, 18.53 minutes, 2015-2017) were submitted as part of this thesis.