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Student stories: Anna Sellen

Drip by drip, we are fed with concrete

Winner of FORMAT2021 Shutter Hub portfolio award, Wales-based photographer, artist and OCA student Anna Sellen launches virtual multimedia exhibition ‘Drip by drip, we are fed with concrete’ at CULTVR Portal this month.

Anna questions the Cold War legacy through the physical space of the bunker and her family archive. She uses photography, oral history, archives and diaries to examine her own and her family’s lived experiences in the Soviet Union between 1952 and 1986. She is interested in the impact of the political decisions, state-driven silencing and misinformation on people’s lives and identities, from one generation to the next, and what this means in today’s world.

Artist Anna Sellen says “This exhibition consolidates my work produced over the last two years. These stories from the past offer poignant lessons to us now, they are urgent and current, they speak directly to the anxieties and challenges of our world today.”

The exhibition can be accessed via CULTVR Portal: https://www.cultvr.cymru/catalyst-360o-anna-sellen/

Watch a video taster below


This exhibition is a collaboration between Anna Sellen, CULTVR Lab and 4Pi. It is part of Catalyst 360° supported by the Arts Council of Wales.

Anna Sellen
Anna is a photographer and multidisciplinary artist, based on the West Coast of Wales. She works with images, sound and text to tell stories about transitions that people and places undergo. Her projects often start autobiographically and evolve through extensive research. Anna is currently artist-in-residence at the Kelvedon Hatch Cold War Bunker (2020-2022).
https://www.annanas.co.uk | IG: annasellenphotography

CULTVR Lab is Europe’s first immersive cross-disciplinary space with a strong focus on digital arts, live performance and 360º cinema. https://www.cultvr.cymru/

4Pi are an award-winning creative studio that blends powerful emerging technologies with cross-media storytelling approaches, producing immersive experiences that reach out to audiences in new and engaging ways.

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Posted by author: Anna Sellen
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10 thoughts on “Student stories: Anna Sellen

  • Thank you Anna… It’s truly tragic that so many people across the world were and are still denied their lifes, freedoms, happiness, dreams and peace by wars and dictatorships.

    • I totally agree with you Anna. I felt compelled to make this work for the same reason. Democracy, freedom and peace are so fragile. We need to remember this and never take these most precious things for granted.

  • Interested to know as a poetry tutor with a smattering of Russian whether your poem was written in Russian originally and translated or written in English. You are lucky if you have both languages.

    • Hi Liz, I wrote the poem in English and it felt totally natural to do this. It would have been a different poem if written in Russian. But at the moment it would be far too painful for me to try and write in Russian. I hope you understand.

  • This is really interesting and engaging, being part of the full experience must be completely gripping because of its immersive nature. Lots of psychology around that going back to the 1970s.

    • Thank you so much for your feedback Suzanne. My aim with this exhibition was to create an experience and am so glad that this worked. I am hoping to create an immersive physical experience at a physical exhibition next!

  • Anna, as a long term humanitarian worker in an ex-Soviet country, this exhibition and its tragic cover-up story was very interesting. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Hi Debbie, you are very welcome and thank you so much for visiting my exhibition. I appreciate your feedback and am glad that it resonated with you.

  • Really great work Anna, it’s fantastic to see how it’s progressed so massively as a Body of work.

    • Thank you Allan. The most significant changes were triggered by the war in Ukraine. The agony of watching the history repeat itself meant I had no choice but to respond. I hope it makes sense.

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