Carrie-Ann Stein is a theatre designer and fine artist with a particular interest in daydreams, cognitive psychology and fragmentary dialectics. Her work explores the construction of personal identity from incomplete and unresolved childhood memories; and how daydreams might be transformed into grand abstract operettas providing an escape for the dreamer into worlds of infinite variety exploding with excess and intensity.
During her time at the Royal College of Art, Carrie has identified memory, narrative and daydreaming as vital features of her practice. She begins with recording abstract photographs taken in backstage theatre areas. Later, particular patterns of shape, tone and contrast are abstracted from these photographs which might become a catalyst for designing an entirely fictional scene.
The construction of abstract narratives acts like a 'geometry of echoes' inciting flashbacks to childhood memories of domestic events that are difficult to define and with a 'focal radiation from an inexact centre' (The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard, 1964). The poetics of Bachelard and Charles Baudelaire fuel Carrie's thinking concerning intimacy and infinity with regard to personal identity.
With a first career in law, Carrie had a particular interest in family and child proceedings. During a career break to raise a family, she gained a BA in Fashion Design from Central Saint Martins and a further BA with the Royal Opera House in Costume Construction. These studies were followed by the development of Carrie's practice into set and costume design for performance supported by the Linbury Prize for Theatre Design, a Royal Opera House Bursary and a Costume Society Award.
Carrie's practice is motivated by the production and installation of fictional and visual abstract operettas with which to entertain and provoke the viewer. Working in a theatre, Carrie is uniquely placed to understand the power of performance and narrative in engaging an audience and sets herself the challenge of transporting the dreamer from the immediate world to an infinite space of imagination and possibility using 2D printmaking processes.