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Anna Torma grew up in a small village in Tarnaors, Hungary, where she learned the techniques of hand sewing and embroidery from her mother and grandmother. She graduated from the Hungarian University of Applied Arts in Budapest in the late 1970s, at a time when censorship enforced by the Communist government restricted many aspects of artistic expression. However, because textile arts were not recognized as an artistic discipline by the state, they were not subject to official criticism or monitoring. This situation allowed Torma and her contemporaries unusual creative freedom.
Anna Torma immigrated to Canada in 1988 and now lives in Baie Verte, New Brunswick. Her hand-stitched, collage-like compositions embroidered onto cotton and patchwork surfaces incorporate pictorial motifs and snippets of language from everyday family life.
Torma has exhibited her work throughout Canada and the United States as well as in England, Hungary, and the Netherlands. Her work is represented in public collections including the Ministry of Culture, Hungary; Foreign Affairs Canada, Library and Gallery in Cambridge, Ontario, and the New Brunswick Art Bank. Torma has been profiled in numerous publications including Fibrearts, Selvedge, Walrus and Ontario Crafts magazines, the Globe and Mail and the National Post.