Anouk Mercier studied Classical Drawing at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris, before completing a Fine Art and Visual Culture BA from the University of the West England, Bristol. She continues to live and work in Bristol, running the UWE Drawing Centre alongside her own artistic practice. In 2008 she co-founded Bristol Drawing Club, encouraging both artists and non-artists to engage with Drawing through diverse approaches and settings (http://bristoldrawingclub.blogspot.co.uk).
Mercier’s works present fictional, collaged landscapes and scenes, composed of fragments of existing 18th Century landscape etchings seamlessly assembled and interwoven with flowing waterfalls. Although clearly influenced by Romanticism,the melancholic worlds created deliberately escape definition: pastel coloured skies and surreal horizons hint at sci-fi, futuristic propositions, whilst purposefully disrupting obvious references to the Past and complacent idylls. These subtle contradictions result in a tension further symbolized by derelict architectural elements, simultaneously alluding to heroic monuments whilst embodying their decay.
Presenting the timeless yearning for escapism through the depiction of ideals, Mercier’s works also explore the mysterious, the abysmal and the uncanny that often lurks behind idylls. Calling into question the dystopic potential of the fragmented utopias constructed, and bringing forward an added layer of anxiety.