In the beginning was the word. And the word was made of letters. It’s as simple as that.
Anna Astapova was born in Moscow into a family of graphic designers and printers. Her feeling for the beauty of design and print grew naturally and her artistic self was secured and strengthened
by studies in graphic design in Moscow and Amsterdam. In the Netherlands, she learned all about
the world-famous Dutch affinity for lettering and design.
After working for years as a successful digital graphic designer, using advanced computer design
and printing techniques, Anna started to realise her work was not satisfying her creative ambitions. The real handwork, the analogue touch, the old-fashioned artisan approach was missing in the “sterility” of computerised creative processes. Combining her technical knowledge and love for lettering and printing, while returning to the traditions of the Russian avant-garde of the 1920s, Anna discovered a freedom that she hadn’t known before.  
She found the solution unexpectedly in the ancient art of knitting, embracing the physical aspect and its irregularities with excitement and anticipation. The letters and designs, perfectly formed and inert on the computer screen or in print, became vibrant and warm when stretched on a frame as a tapestry poster. Graphic ideas and materials combine in a time-consuming, laborious process, in which every centimeter of the piece of art goes through the hands of the maker. The ideas materialise gradually and reveal themselves without haste, row by row, with a meditational quality, concluded in the resulting artefact. The semantic charge of the designed word accumulates slowly and then is slowly discharged, fascinating the viewer, unlike many computer-generated art works that have only a short, sensational impact. The thoughts, the feelings and the contemplations of the artist are woven into the tapestry.
Anna uses computer technologies to simplify certain parts of sketching and designing, but the nuances, which create the unpredictable texture of the final poster, cannot be achieved by machine.
For Anna, the letters as such are objects of beauty, radiating different kinds of graphic energy in various languages. Combined into words, the letters obtain an even more complex semantic charge. The same word in various languages looks totally different, thus making a distinctive visual impact.  Anna’s designs refer to the beginning of the printing era when the capital letters were drawn by hand and told a story of their own. In combination with modern graphic solutions, this process of creation inspires Anna immensely. 
Converting the tight contrast of lettertypes into warm, fuzzy knots of wool, Anna brings life to a completely new expression of colour, form and material. Her thoughtful choice of letters, words and phrases brings the message, which like her designs, has multiple semantic layers. These layers are not digital Photoshop layers, but the layers of the artist’s consciousness and soul, and hold a special appeal for the viewer. Anna’s craftsmanship conveys a sense of wonder and joy that enchants the viewer, who is most likely not aware of the labour-intensive processes involved.
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