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Anna Torma: Red Flowers III
Anna Torma learned techniques of hand sewing and embroidery from her mother and grandmother as a child. She graduated with a degree in Textile Art and Design from the Hungarian University of Applied Arts in 1979, when censorship enforced by Communist government restricted aspects of artistic expression. Textiles were not then recognized as an artistic discipline, a circumstance which afforded practitioners a greater measure of freedom in political and creative expression.
Torma says, I feel I am a storyteller, using my private diary pages with drawings, text and paintings from both my early experiences in Hungary and my recent life in Canada. Her works depict intimate details of her everyday life, emphasizing, in her own words, the importance of small things—things and beings that are far from perfection.
Torma’s collage-like needlework functions as a form of drawing. She is inspired by Visionary and Outsider art for their expressive directness and ability to communicate to a broad range of viewers. In works such as Red Flowers III, she alternates between figuration and abstraction, between the decorative and the literal.
In her catalogue essay for Needleworks, Anne Koval calls Torma’s pieces playful with staccato-like variance saying, ....we enter a blooming garden, abundant with folk art, her husband’s sculptural female forms and her children’s art...The work is at once domestic and profound in its collective experience.
Anna Torma’s work was shown in the 2007 MSVU exhibition Needleworks, and she was a 2005 finalist in the Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in the Fine Crafts. Torma has exhibited nationally and internationally.