Anna Hyde; Bierum’s werewolf in the attic
At this moment the work of artist Anna Hyde can be viewed at the Bierumer School. Anna plays with the concepts of the night, the ideas of anthropologist Victor Turner concerning rites of passage and the recently by its children abandoned school of Bierum. These concepts are woven together by her in an intriguing fashion within a shared story, in which she herself, as an artist, plays an important part. Anna works exclusively at night and is hardly ever spotted by those who visit her work. Sometimes a glimpse is caught of the person behind the sowing machine, but in general Anna is as elusive as the liminal phase she is interested in.
Anna’s installation has fittingly been called Lukanthropos. As the werewolf Anna lives at night and she seems to have placed herself within a shadow realm of existence. She reaches back into both her own past and that of the school and seems to refuse to look at the future; with this she places herself in an almost liminal phase between past and future which cannot be defined, however, as the present. Like the mythological werewolf has often become a werewolf against their own will, so a certain tension can be felt in Anna’s work: the actual children have left the school, but in the attic seven imaginary children still roam around; children for whom Anna is heatedly making clothes. Where do these children come from and are they really a part of the school? The seventh child is a special child; there is something that sets this child apart from the others. The number seven is a known number in mythological circles and is seen, among other things, as the number for self-reflection and philosophy. De seventh sons of seventh sons were said in the past to have powers of predicting the future. The seventh child might be the odd one out, because it has this eye towards the future; an eye out of the liminal phase.
The liminal phase within which Anna has placed herself and her work turns out to be a very fertile one. By mixing the night, an abandoned school, the rites of passage with which Turner elucidates his concept of the liminal phase and by invoking the mythology of the werewolf, she calls up the image of a village such as Bierum, with an abandoned school and with that an abandoned source of youthfulness and renewal for its inhabitants, which itself has fallen within a liminal phase. Within a period of a few years the village has symbolically lost both its youngest and oldest inhabitants (through the closure of both the school and the retirement home). It has become a village without beginning and end; lost in the chaos of progress surrounding it. Anna summons this feeling without fault and connects it to the concepts of liminality and lost fertility. The complexity of this situation is mirrored within the complexity of the ideas that Anna showcases within her installation.
Katja van der Kamp