Anne Thomas

 

Is an artist and teacher based near Aberystwyth, Wales.

She creates ceramic sculpture and mandala paintings in watercolour and acrylic.


Her artwork expresses a deep connection with the beauty and miracle of Life; a joyful appreciation of the wild  - the vivid colour, vitality, variety and fabulous fertility - the magic of renewal, regeneration, restoration. 

The work is created mindfully, as an offering of beauty and also as a practical resource for contemplative practice.

Sacred geometry plays a significant part in the process of designing and creating her artworks, both philosophically and physically.

Plants and animals native to the UK appear often in her designs, celebrating the lives of our indigenous companions; bringing attention to the inter-relationships and complex balance of the world.

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Developer

Anne's fascination with the natural world began as a child growing up in rural suffolk, in an environmentally and spiritually aware family. Her father, artist Malcolm Ryan , encouraged artistic expression and philosophical discussion; while her Mother, Maureen, inspired a fascination with nature, the delights of gardening and a deep reverance for life.  

 

Education & Self Development

 

Anne's education has been ecclectic and lead by the questions:

What am I here for?

How can we best live in harmony with ourselves, each other and our non human relations?

Studying English and Inter Arts at Bretton Hall college in west Yorkshire (now YSP) initially opened doorways.

A desire to combat environmental destruction and animal abuse took her briefly into activism and community arts as a way to change things.  

Becoming pregnant with the first of her four children in 1989 shifted her perspective to a much more immediate consideration of what it means to be guardian of sacred life; and prompted her move to rural west Wales in 1990 with partner Paul.

Learning how to live well became central to their Life together; practicing an earth based spirituality and philosophy of non-harming. The quest to embrace natural healthcare for pregnancy and childcare lead to the home-study of aromatherapy, herbalism, macrobiotics and crystal healing. Along with developing an organic veg/herb garden and re-discovering the wisdom of our ancestors in foraging wild plants.    

In 1998 they launched a business titled 'Sacred Living'; promoting the use of crystals and energy awareness for self development and healing.

This was an attempt at a different kind of activism, from the protests and marches of the '80's. 

Recognising the problems of unchecked capitalism and environmental destruction as being symptoms of a deeper crisis of consciousness affecting the western world, the mission of 'Sacred Living' was to help people cultivate a more harmonious relationship with themselves via the vibrational medicine of Mother Earth. And in doing so, attune to a more heart centred relationship with all of Life. 

Sacred Living remained small scale, however, as the business of actually raising children in a grounded yet sacred manner always took priority.

Home educating seemed the best path in the absence of any forward-thinking educational centres in the area. With four children by this time, parenting took up a lot of Anne's time and energy, leaving little space for personal creative practice. It was a time of practical crafting, making small drawings and occasionally painting, with lots of singing and creative journalling.

A kiln was procured and small goddess plaques began to emerge.

Women's circles, 5-Rhythms dancing, seasonal ceremonies and networking with other home educators provided sustenance through those years. 

Mandala making gradually became a wonderful tool for self reflection. Beginning as doodles, then gaining definition and confidence from the assistance of geometry.

Learning to draw geometry initiated from a home education project, in which mathematics was being brought to life via the study of geometry in nature. Anne became fascinated by sacred geometry and the grounding it provides for composition, both in 2D and 3D work. Starting with small watercolour paintings initially, to create visual 'energy maps' incorporating significant plants and elements, the paintings developed in scale and complexity over the following decade. 

Meanwhile, as the children grew older, Anne took courses in Polarity Therapy, Reiki, Sound Healing and Yoga. She also began to work shamanically, establishing spirit-guides, attending prayer ceremonies, drumming and singing sacred songs, . This was the start of a ten year Menopausal journey time, of self reflection and healing, after the exhausting years of mothering and home schooling. A time to gather up scattered threads and realign, within the chrysalis of transformation that the menopausal rite of passage holds. 

 

Developing her daily yoga self-practice significantly strengthened her in body and mind during this time. Working with Scaravelli influenced yoga teachers, Anne began a process of gradual re-embodiment; a somatic awakening into deeper presence of experience. The structure of disciplined practice also helped provide the inner focus required to begin teaching Reiki, sacred singing, meditation and later Mandala painting.

Anne became a Grandmother in 2012, midway in the menopausal portal.

Births and deaths are times of profound opening, and this was no exception. In getting to know the grandchild, the Grandmother revisits her own experience of new motherhood, seeing herself from a different perspective upon the medicine wheel of parenthood. There is an invitation to step through the doorway into a new phase of Life.

 

For Anne, the new phase took the form of taking her studies and her art practice to new depths and levels.

Following on from a foundation in Yoga studies, she began studying Ayurveda, apprenticed to Ayurvedic Herbalist Anne McIntyre.

Simultaneously, she enroled on a series of ceramics classes to develop her sculpture building skills.

And began studying Shamanic Dreaming with Manda Scott.

Ayurveda, as a thoroughly holistic system of medicine, provides a meeting point for the disciplines of Yoga, diet&nutrition, energy awareness and herbalism. Anne is now working towards offering an Holistic Health coaching practice.

The Shamanic work offers a different kind of  underpinning of orientation within the wholeness of Life. There are of course overlaps; circles intersecting circles.

'How do we find our centre when all around the world is changing? Where will we find shelter when the winds of life blow hardest? It is in the highest and best interests of us all to develop inner calm and self awareness, so we can orientate within the great wheel of life. To live our lives with grace and in beauty; with strength of heart and clarity of mind and spirit, to become the best that we can be".

Anne has a studio and a healing room at her home. She has exhibited her artwork in England and Wales, held courses exploring the art of mandala, sacred geometry, energy awareness and mindfulness.

She holds sacred song circles in her area.

See Calendar for details