Ania Hobson was born in Suffolk, UK. In the remote countryside, she spent her formative years drawing and painting. Initially developing and fine-tuning a technical skill by painting her surroundings such as farmland and landscapes, she quickly started focussing solely on portraiture. She studied portraiture painting at the prestigious Florence Academy of Art. After completing this, she soon abandoned a very schooled style for a more personal, contemporary one. She currently draws inspiration from the great portrait artists such as Alice Neel, Paula Rago, and Kerry James Marshall, as well as being influenced by other contemporary art movements in painting. She works from preliminary sketches, sometimes from life, by which she creates scenarios and situations imaged or re-created from memory, which have a strong story-telling aspect. She deepens the atmosphere by working on often very large canvasses with organic colours in oil, thickened with impasto. Ania won the Young Artist Award with the BP Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery in 2018. Last year she exhibited in Venice with the GAA Foundation at one of the official collateral events of the Venice Biennale at the ECC. Ania recently had her first London solo show this year at The Catto Gallery and is working towards another for 2021. She continues to work in between Suffolk and London.
Ania aims to discuss and portray scenarios and situations, often through the use of her own personal experiences. Creating characters is her way of exploring the human form and often working from personal memories enables her figure to become more abstracted, less anatomically correct and unquestionably more expressive. Ania aims to engage the viewer with her exaggerated features and characters. This states ‘acts as a platform for communication and enables the viewer to draw parallels to their own experience and form deeper connections to the narrative within the paintings.’ Perhaps alluding to why most characters are depicted looking into the ambiguous background in which they are depicted. This references a continuation of narrative and leaves the viewer wondering where the characters are looking and what they might be seeing, suggesting the story continues outside the painting’s composition.