Ann-Marie Stillion

AnnMarieStillion portrait.jpg





I am a visual artist based in still photography and I have also become interested in filmmaking. Since quarantine, I began drawing and combining my photographic images digitally. But for a long time, I have sought to make painterly images with traditional photographic methods using light, the camera and the moment - no or minimal digital manipulation.


I am concerned with intimate as well as political freedoms. Aesthetic beauty matters as does the dialogue of form and content.


I began thinking of myself as an artist as a little girl when I figured out my family’s motion picture camera could make films. My cuts between scenes consisted of quickly pointing the lens to the sky. It seems pretty funny now but I made my siblings the actors and mostly set locations by the pool. My entire life has revolved around creative expression in some way. It is the shelter that houses my spirit.


My studio is a stage and a meeting place. It holds my equipment and my dreams. Sometimes we actually have a kind of conversation - I mean me and my studio. I am very grateful to all the people who made Building 30 possible starting with former mayor Mike McGinn. If it wasn’t for the hard work of many people in the City, Building 30 might never have existed. Recently, when the lockdowns hit, one of the first acts from the Mayor Durkan’s office was to suspend our rent payments for a few months. It meant a lot.


I plan on doing virtual studio visits soon, so you can see [my art] on my instagram feed. My studio is the home of my practice. I work on location or edit at home, do business stuff from my laptop but the studio is a vital place to everything I do.


The pandemic is changing all of us. I am thinking more in terms of story lately. I feel more focussed and I have been drawing, It seems like everything will be Before Covid, After Covid or during it. I don’t want to miss this moment of reflection. Adversity and the challenges to life and finances easily overwhelm but I return to my art practice and am trying to use it as a center rather than letting the madness of the day take over.


Since I can’t work with models at the moment or go out into the world very much, I have been spending more time with the tremendous body of work I have. Editing more, organizing. Some new work is based on using things I have shot, some of it a long time ago but used in a new way. Also, I am prepping my studio for virtual experiences and making some new digital pieces which will be on vimeo, youtube and instagram at some point.


I can’t wait to have my playground back. The world needs art and artists more than ever.


I have been so moved by all the pandemic art I’ve seen from friends on social media feeds. And there are murals blooming all over the world.


I am grateful for streaming and virtual studio visits rock but I hope that we can have live art experience again soon.


At the end of the day, Art is an intimate relationship. It is not about the object, the song, the performance. It’s about what happens between the art, the artist, and the audience.

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