Skip to main content
Print (MA)

Anna Marris

Anna Marris is an artist working between traditional and contemporary modes of print, often extending into sculpture and installation, to test the potentials of research-based creative practice.

Anna graduated from Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton in the summer of 2021, achieving a first-class honours degree in BA Fine Art. In September 2021, Anna began postgraduate study in MA Print at the Royal College of Art.

She was awarded a Distinction in her Critical and Historical Studies dissertation titled ‘Exploitative Extraction and Perspectives of Power: An essay investigating perspective through archives, contemporary art practice, and fictional narratives in the representation of resource extraction’.

In April 2023, Anna exhibited with Boiling Point Artist Collective in a collaborative group show and series of public events. The exhibition took place in Openhand Openspace, 571 Oxford Road Gallery in Reading and was awarded an Arts Council England Project Grant.

Anna is a member of ZEST Arts Collective, based in Southampton. Their latest exhibition ‘Polymer Waves’ explored sustainable practice and collaborative workshops that utilised recycled materials to incite positive change in our attitudes towards the climate crisis.

Other recent exhibitions include ‘Snappy Title’ at the Winchester Gallery, ‘Two-Fold’ at Southwark Park Galleries, London, ‘Novum Citri’ in Southampton, and ‘Pull over and take a cig’ in Espacio Gallery.

Anna holding a screen print during install in a gallery.

Archived, imaged, reconstructed. The language of print is deeply rooted in my investigations into the representation of resource extraction and exploitation of the landscape.

My practice attends to the scattered fragments of satellite and microscopic imagery and physical matter connected to land use, planted in archives that are often neutralised or aestheticized, creating a harmful distance from the complexities of urgent issues consuming the scarred terrain.

I superimpose visuals of these fragments, by digital manipulation on my computer or collaging on paper, to produce imagery that no longer resemble a particular place or conform to a linear timeframe but embody archives to form new imaginaries that unearth the active threats in abandoned, current, and potential sites of land use.

By working between traditional and contemporary methods in print, I translate imagery into surface texture, materialising archived data to respond to deep time and deep futures at the core of a landscape subjected to the speeds of industry and profit.

Interconnecting fiction with print encourages me to listen and engage with ecological concerns through experimental practices and chance encounters from slippages in technical processes.

By layering printed matter, I utilise curation to extend the narrative of an ongoing investigation, as if stitching together evidence. Digital reconstructions and text communicate with experimental etchings and screen-printed compositions, reframing visual representations of land use and expanding the perspectives of original archived material.

Hand drawn etching in the centre of a digital print and UV print on steel depicting the landscape and water.
Detail of crayon texture used to create an etching.
Detail of etching on paper overlaying digital print on steel sheet depicting the landscape and water at an open pit mine.
Three etchings, digital prints on paper, and text printed on acetate, overlaying a UV print of a mine on a steel sheet.

Photomap 42e7: chemical aftermath of abandoned mine

The plate began as a clean slate. A phrase often associated with capitalist attitudes towards land use, where pre-existing life atop usable land is under a constant level of instability, pressurised by visions of profit and advancement. Using heat, I fused rosin dust to the surface of my plate, laying the foundations needed to begin drawing. Over many hours, an image made up of grainy crayon textures builds up to reveal the meeting point between two elements: land and water, reacting within a disused open pit mine. This mine is known as the Berkeley Pit in the State of Montana, US. It is one of the largest abandoned open pit copper mines in the world and has become a site of dark beauty. Since its disuse, the pit has filled with water, which has become highly toxic due to the amount of exposed copper across the step-like structures of the pit. I submerge my completed drawing into a bath of acid. Bubbles form in the cracks of my gestural marks on the plate: acid biting into the metal.

There is movement and activity in a landscape that has no remainder of human life visible, but an incredibly human mark left scarred in the terrain. The reaction between the land and water at the Berkeley Pit is amplified by the scale of the resource extraction. Human actions weaponize the non-human, threatening natural systems.

Viscose black ink takes the shape of the grooves in my plate and the pressure of the intaglio press reverses and imprints my drawing into paper.

At this moment in time, I have no direct experience with this site. I rely on the imagery disseminated across online databases. My understanding of the exploitation in Montana is enforced by the curation of imagery and information (or lack thereof) across various websites and archives. I border my drawing with a glimpse of the original satellite perspective I first attended to, using a delicate collaging method called chine-collé. Once again, the pressure of the printing press returns, this time to merge the digital print with my etching.

The final image echoes an investigative technique used in architecture called photomapping, which can be used to reconstruct events or scenes by combining multiple perspectives from photographs.

I place my drawing in the centre of an ongoing investigation suspended in time, where various printed matter speaks between the boundaries of the hand drawn and the technologically rendered. 


Etching, aquatint, and digital print mounted on UV print on steel sheet


1000 x 600 mm
Front cover of artist book with drawing of an open pit mine and title page.
Page of artist book with hand drawn map on tracing paper overlaying an image taken at a quarry.
Open artist book displaying hand drawn map and photograph of a quarry.
Page of artist book with an image of a chalk sample and microscopic thin section of a rock.

Environmental Impact Assessment of Abandoned Quarry

I weave between the rows of cabinets holding fragments of mined landscapes in the rock and mineral collection housed in London’s Natural History Museum; I scroll the database of photographs and captions of land use sites in the US on the Centre for Land Use Interpretation; I spin through the collection of top-down imagery that make up the immaterial globe known as Google Earth. Each interaction I have with an element of a mined landscape informs my understanding of resource extraction and its impacts on humans, wildlife, and the environment. 

The experience of land use is dictated by outdated locations, lists of figures quantifying human lives, or a general lack of information in an attempt to remain politically neutral. Perspectives are enforced upon the viewer, often undermining the histories and legacies of those impacted by land use, and greatly distorting our perception of the landscape and ecosystem.

How does the captioning, categorising, and curation of archived matter embed harmful narratives?

To what extent does the archive distort our perceptions on land use and ecological exploitation?

And how can contemporary art practice work to reframe and activate archives as an approach to communicating the complexities of environmental and social issues entangled in ecological exploitation?

These questions fuel my practice.

In one response, I explored the notion of the archive through an intimate, handheld assemblage. It is a portable archive that processes embodied experience, creative intervention, research, and speculative fiction across the same level of attention and importance.

Through primary photography, map making, and research notes my artist book traces a fictional research trip to a quarry to identify the many hazards and potential consequences of its unprecedented abandonment. To form the contents of the book I combined my findings from fieldwork at a working quarry outside London, alongside research into the aftermath of quarries in Greece and mines in Montana and Arizona. I aim to use this book to highlight the risks of poor or limited security measures, discarded infrastructure and equipment, and the dangers surrounding the formation of the step-like structures in the pit.

Fictional narrative as a research methodology in contemporary art practice can be used to expand our perspective of resource extraction by offering imaginaries formed from past, present, and potential instances of land use. The representation of complex global issues, such as resource extraction, should not be limited to a singular perspective or timeframe. 


Hardback publication with hemp leaf binding


100 x 150 mm
Screen print on paper depicting an open pit mine.
Detail of screen print on paper depicting an open pit mine.
Detail of screen print on paper depicting an open pit mine.

Photomosaic of Abandoned Mine

20th Century advancements in overhead surveillance dramatically altered human perception of the land. From above, our visual expanse is broadened, and our ability to map large areas of the surface was redefined by the aerial photomosaic. This tool combined multiple photographs to enable us to piece together a comprehensive view of formations beneath our feet.

The photomosaic represents advancement in the imaging of the landscape, but also speaks to the power structures in warfare and surveillance. It simplifies the surface into governable masses, where borders deny natural formations and instead mark how land is divided, claimed, and exploited for resources.

Through digital editing and printmaking, I play with the aesthetics of aerial photomosaics to embed these narratives of power and progression, which are inextricably tied to resource extraction. The experimental composition of this artwork takes a contemporary spin on the photomosaic to capture a visual expanse of territory and ownership.

I edit a selection of imagery: enlarging and overlapping elements of the land, stitching together distorted viewpoints. I manipulate the satellite perspective by altering colour information and embedding shadows to create a deceptively three-dimensional surface. Transferring my digital photomosaic into a large, screen-printed form materialises complex layers that both reveal and conceal the movements of the natural forces and degrading infrastructure at this disused open pit mine. It is in urgent need of assessing.

The land is glowing. Toxicity lurks.


CMYK screen print


838 x 1143 mm
Eight screen prints on paper mounted on a wall, depicting an image of an open pit mine.
Detail of screen print on paper depicting microscopic and satellite imagery of a landscape at an open pit mine.
Detail of screen print on paper depicting mining infrastructure and landscape formation at an open pit mine.
Detail of screen print on paper depicting microscopic and satellite imagery of a landscape at an open pit mine.
Detail of screen print on paper depicting microscopic and satellite imagery of landscape at an open pit mine.
Detail of screen print on paper depicting microscopic and satellite imagery of landscape at an open pit mine.

The Aftermath of Geological Interference

Spectacular photomicrographs from independent research archives make visible the geological compositions of the landscape at this open pit mine. This work reconstructs the formation of the land, entangling two opposing visual expanses: the micro and the macro. The original image of the Berkeley Pit in Montana is reworked beyond recognition, distorting the proximity of mining infrastructure, the formations of the pit, and the deep, swirling body of water engulfing the disused site.

The printed image spans over eight panels, each one forming in layers overtime as I pushed ink through the halftone dot data suspended in the mesh of a silkscreen. I am drawn to the physicality of building imagery, working with equipment to transfer my immaterial digital creations into lively, glossy textures atop a smooth, delicate surface. The curation of this artwork obscured the landscape, mirroring the structure of an ore body or mineral.

By engaging with archived imagery in this way, I explore how experimental image editing, colour manipulation, screen print, and curation can engage with speculative fiction to highlight the activity of non-human entities within abandoned sites of human intervention.

Reimagining pre-existing matter through creative processes is an application of world building. Erasing, superimposing, and layering in printmaking reframes the original archived data, by expanding it through abstracted narratives, inviting contemplation and questioning.

This mined landscape is a visible marker of human interference with geology. Fragments of deep time bleed through artificial formations, glowing amongst arid scenery consumed by eroding equipment and buildings in a state of ruin. 


CMYK screen print on paper


2020 x 2080 mm