Drawing on her love of animals, Montgomerie creates expressive anthropomorphic creatures that convey a range of magnified childlike emotions. Cats, lambs, foxes, and dogs often feature in her collections, each one covered in layer upon layer of retro fabric, strategically placed to replicate the differing directions of the fur or skin, achieving a ‘loved-to-death’ threadbare look. Their bodies are made from vintage finds, usually from the 1970s and 1980’s, adding a sense of nostalgia to each piece. They often appear sad or lost – a representation of her own feelings of inadequacy as a child.
A skilled mould maker, Montgomerie finds inspiration in vintage photographs, old school class photographs, animal photography, vintage textiles and flea markets. Preferring to work in 3D, sculpting with clay is often her way of sketching ideas to begin the creative process. Starting with the face, she forms the expression and personality with layers of muslin and glue to create a hard outer shell before creating the body and clothes from foraged finds.
Having exhibited two small collections previously at YSP, Hand Me Downs is Montgomerie’s largest exhibition to date with over 30 unique pieces available to purchase at YSP Shop in the YSP Visitor Centre. A special edition vinyl figure based on Fuchsia the sheep and standing approximately 34cm tall, will be available to purchase exclusively in YSP Shop and online.
To celebrate the opening of Hand Me Downs, Montgomerie will be signing copies of Flocked and Socked: The Art of Annie Montgomerie, the first book dedicated to her work, at the YSP Centre on Saturday 5 November (book via ysp.org.uk).