Freyja Appleyard-Keeling

Freyja Bryony Appleyard-Keeling is a young artist born in the North of England, who so happens to be gifted with a brilliantly obnoxious name (if she does say so herself).

Within her art she explores ideas surrounding the study of the human in art. Having always been fascinated by the obscure stories which were passed down and the oral storytelling traditions. This childhood enriched with stories created an entrenched, internal landscape. Creating and exploring subjects such as memory and personal mythologies echoes this aspect of her thought process in this way her takes on a form of intrapersonal reflection. She attempts to show different perspectives within her work, as well as about her life. The intention is for the audience, whomever that may be to be able to see through her eyes and experience the nature of the world that surrounds her.

With her current work focused on the exploration of witchcraft and familial identity building upon themes approached across previous years; specifically, ideas surrounding inheritance of matriarchal knowledge and how this shapes identity. Her interest is in the rituals, philosophies, and memories connecting Mothers and their children. While previous work explored rituals and the construction of internal landscape within physical art-space, this year her work considers the familial connections
flowing down Matriarchal lines. Historical constructions of ‘witchery’ encapsulate the majority of contemporary individuals; particularly feminists. However, witchcraft is a personal connection – as she emerges from a line of such women. Therefore, this body of work foregrounds ‘The Witch’ by focussing on intimate portraiture of family members who embody the category of ‘Witch’.

Freyja greets the acquainted with subversion to the anticipated and comfortable, with the aim of inciting the viewer to question their own assumptions of the everyday; to alter personal associations. The aim is to disrupt and distort the viewer’s perception through the introduction of a dissimila reality. She amplifies the astonishment of the spectator by creating familiar compositions, or settings, that hold disconcerting aspects to generate disorientated engagement with the works. Her art features
constructed environments with items of the accustomed and obscure, for which her sitters select artefacts of personal significance. This involvement of unexpected objects is meant to incite curiosity within the audience and provoke further enquiry of the work itself. Through curating the environment, she incorporates her previous work around constructed spaces and internal landscapes, this creation of intricate works, through labour-intensive processes, is a ritualistic personal exorcism.

Instagram: @freyjaak