When she was 25 years old, Anna Bourne’s life took an unexpected turn. It came in the form of a silk painting.Anna was babysitting for a friend when she noticed a painting of a whimsical underwater scene on display in her friend’s home on Providenciales. Something about it struck her. She found out the name of the artist – Nadine Giese – and went to her to find out more about the medium.At the time, Anna was the director of training at Beaches. She had a degree in industrial psychology, with no training or background in art. But something about that silk painting awakened her desire to create. Nadine brought Anna to a silk painting studio so Anna could try the medium herself. And in the middle of Anna’s second silk painting, she had a realization.“It was like falling in love,” says Anna, 44. “I knew I was going to be an artist.”
And when you fall in love, Anna says, you’ll make drastic decisions to be with the one you love. It’s not really a choice.
So, naturally, Anna quit her job and started painting. Over time, she began to experiment with new mediums – sketching, sewing, jewelry-making, fabric-dying. She transformed her home into her own personal studio. For her first 10 years working as an artist, Anna sold her work through the now-defunct Bamboo Gallery.
Her gallery today – Anna’s Art Gallery – was not her idea. It took some coaxing from a friend who called her ten years ago to suggest she open her own shop. Anna’s initial reaction: “no way.”
“Then I put the phone down, sat there and thought, why not?” Anna says.
Anna opened up shop in Turtle Cove, and after two years, moved to her current location in Salt Mills. It wasn’t much at first – some paintings on display and a second-hand table where she could work. The gallery looked virtually empty compared with the treasure trove of paintings, jewelry, soaps, silk scarves, books and trinkets that inhabit the shop today. In addition to her own artwork, Anna features pieces from several local artists, including those of 24-year-old Danielange “Dani” Dorilus. Dani has been assisting Anna in the shop since 2010.
“Dani walked in one day, and it’s been one of the best things that’s ever happened to the gallery,” Anna says.
Anna has encouraged Dani, who grew up in the Turks and Caicos, to explore her creative side, teaching her the techniques of silk painting and jewelry designing. Dani refers to her art as her “freedom.”
“She really encourages me a lot,” Dani says of Anna. “She teaches me not to undervalue myself.”
Dani helps manage the gallery while Anna paints and crafts her pieces at home. She used to create her artwork in the shop, but as it got busier, it became increasingly difficult to get work done – so her home is now her main workspace.