Above a field of sunflowers in Ukraine, July 2014

When I heard about the airplane shot down above Ukraine, I felt an almost physical pain. I think it was the smiling faces of the victims on the news, pictures of scattered teddy bears and guide books to Bali that made the situation almost unbearable. The images of sunflowers and blue skies looked idyllic next to the mangled remains of what used to be flight MH 17.

After a few days I had this dream, or vision, where people rose like angles from the sunflowers and into the arms of the Godhead or Gaia. I am not sure how these pictures entered my mind, but they did, and I would light a candle and actively try to visualize how all these lost souls found their way home in peace and joy.

I drew the image, and then I started to make a ceramic plaque – just to strengthen the vision and make it as real as I possibly could. I wanted to use the image to give more power to my prayer.
This is the start;



I got stuck while making the angels…I spent several days trying to create these symbols of resolution, willing  ‘a happy ending’ upon an intolerable situation.
But it felt wrong. I made so many different versions of angels and they all looked Disney-fied to me. They were almost cute. Beatrix Potter meets Meinrad Craighead.  I felt uneasy and spent days just walking around hating my work.  I could not understand why. I was praying with images, after all. Why did it feel so false? Where had my sense of purpose gone?

Then I sensed the anger and the fury and the confusion emanating from inside those fields in Ukraine. Again, the sensation was almost physical.
I realized that I had not been listening  properly; I had been trying to force a neat little conclusion on to an ongoing situation by turning all these people into happy little Spirits, flying up and uniting with the Great Goddess.

I don’t know what happens after death. But I have a feeling that life may go on much as usual with challenges and bewildering situations. I feel that the anger and the fury still rages among the sunflowers. But the Goddess is there. She is always there.

So, this is how the plaque ended up looking for now. It still needs to be fired and glazed.






About Anna

I am a ceramic sculptor living on the South coast near London, England. My work is influenced by my experience of the earth as a living being and seeing how we are all connected with eachother and with the things that surround us. I create ceramic torsos using molochite clay which I often smokefire in galvanised dustbins. I also make House Gods to protect and amuse, and Fat Birds - little smokefired sculptures that tell the story about what it is like to be a fat bird at peace with its surroundings.
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13 Responses to Above a field of sunflowers in Ukraine, July 2014

  1. hey Anna

    I can no longer like or comment on blogs. I don’t know what the problem is, but a friend ahs promised to look into it as I got no help from WordPress. But I wanted to say this is lovely. I hope you don’t sell it.

    Keira (mtlawleyshire)


    • Anna says:

      Thank you Keira xx


      • I FIXED MY PROBLEM!!! I am going to be back. And I still love that post 🙂


      • Anna says:

        Your comment about not selling this piece has kept bothering me, Keira. What is your reasoning? Is it that art should be kept personal and beyond financial concerns?I am very much of the same opinion, but then again, do you not think ideas should be spread about and also; how the hell is one supposed to survive? I am in such quandary, you have no idea.


      • Me too – but I don’t necessarily keep them. I give most of my art away. I think I said this (& I don’t have to original comment) because the piece was made with such emotion. But there’s nothing wrong with selling art – you make gorgeous things and I for one am glad you sell them! I sometimes sell my stuff, though, as I said, I mostly give them away.
        But this piece is rare. Sometimes I think art is like ‘magic’ & when that happens, it’s kinda rude to make money from it. It can still serve though. Ideas can and should be spread but it doesn’t have to bea financial thing. You could donate it to a rmembrance shrine in a public place.
        But – that’s me.
        There would be nothing wrong with selling it either – unless it bothers you xx


      • Anna says:

        Yes, it is a conundrum, I agree. It’s good to talk about it and try to get clear about what to think/feel/do. For me, I feel I want to make a collection of plaques that tell stories from my point of view. A bit like dipping in to folklore, you know. My personal story telling. And I love feedback because it makes me look at my own thoughts from a different perspective. So thank you, my lovely. xxx


      • I love the idea of dipping into your own folklore! Oh you could take that idea such a long way and even get to the point where you don’t mind letting it go to a new home, like you are with your fat birds & torsoes – they are rich with you and part of you, but you can let them go. The plaques? I feel they will be different for a while. If I do a drawing.painting whatever for someone, then it’s for them. If I just do it, then generally it can be sold. If something is an expression of something deeper – though generally that’s writing for me – it *is* different. My house is populated with such things. It’s a fascinating thing to think about. & you’re welcome 🙂


  2. taphian says:

    That’s a wonderful idea


  3. Sonel says:

    Absolutely stunning plague Anna! I love how you incorporated all the feelings you felt into it. 😀


  4. Pingback: New Ceramic Plaque | Annakeiller's Blog

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