Annie was born and raised in the Welsh speaking community of Criccieth, Gwynedd. She now lives on the banks of the River Colne in Wivenhoe, UK.
Her studio is in Ardleigh, Essex.
This comprehensive website of Annie’s work is in the permanent collection of Welsh artists at the National Library of Wales and other major British library archives.
“Grace, The Suffering of Women at a Time of War” will be shown from 27th May – 5th June 2022 at Criccieth Memorial Hall, (Neuadd Goffa) at the 100th Anniversary Celebrations of the 1922 Opening by The Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, MP (Caernarfonshire).
GRACE (BENDITH): THE SUFFERING OF WOMEN IN A TIME OF WAR
The following explanatory note was written by the artist when giving permission for the use of this image to San Antonio University, Texas. “Women and War” Literature Brochure 2004. The image was also used as poster design for ‘War Music’, Christopher Logue’s adaptation of Homer’s ‘Iliad’ [London 2005]. In late summer 2017 the painting was shown in the WCIA exhibition ‘Women, War and Peace’ at the Senedd (Welsh National Assembly) Cardiff.
“I started this painting ‘The Suffering of Women in a Time of War’ in Warsaw, Poland, on the day of the big anti-war rally in London in February 2003. I was unable to be there but my daughter went. It is my personal response to the situation of helplessness faced by women at such a time.
It has been in exhibitions and responses have described it as powerful and intense – some people find it too disturbing to look at for long.
It is based on my own life, my mother’s experiences and my grandmothers. My paternal grandmother, Grace Ann Jones, had nine sons and one daughter who all went off to war from Porthmadog in September 1939. She died a few weeks later in October. I’m sure she died of a broken heart.
I have tried to represent women of all races, creeds, and ages. Daughters waiting for their fathers return, wives and lovers waiting for their men, mothers for their sons. It is also a self-portrait. My father was in the Royal Navy and was killed in the Second World War. My husband’s mother was in Auschwitz and his father was imprisoned in Siberia by the Russians. They both survived. He became a pilot with the Polish RAF in Britain. We have, as a family, been deeply affected by wars.
This painting came from within. She started off representing Welsh women and ended up representing women of all the world.”
Annie, beside her painting ‘Grace (Bendith): The Suffering of Women in a Time of War’ (2003) Oil and acrylic 112x91cm.
Photo: Lee Karen Stow
Annie featured in a short radio piece about this painting when it was exhibited at the Welsh Senedd:
About the Exhibition
Sponsored by Ann Jones, Deputy Presiding Offices of the National Assembly for Wales, the exhibition explored the impact of war on the lives of women across the world, and told the story of women who have striven for peace. It included photography from the world-renowned photo journalist, Lee Karen Stow, as well as a look at the story of women from Wales’ past who responded to the horror of the First World War and beyond.
In the 100 years since the first world war, how have women felt the impact of war, and contributed to the search for peace? This was the question that the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA) Canolfan Materion Rhyngwladol Cymru explored in the exhibition: ‘Women, War and Peace’ which was on display at the Senedd (Welsh National Assembly) in Cardiff in 2017.
PAINTING WITH THREAD
Free embroidery on my rugby supporter’s denim jacket inspired by the teaching of Peter Gibson of Artwear, Hackney, London.
This was designed and started during lockdown 2020. It continues as a work in progress.
All words are in the Welsh language and are meaningful to our nation, team and supporters.
GARREG DDU / BLACK ROCK
This textile landscape “Garreg Ddu” (Black Rock) has been selected for the Arddangosfa Agored 2022 (Open Exhibition) Susan Williams-Ellis Foundation, Plas Brondanw, Llanfrothen, Gwynedd
TUMULTUOUS SEAS / MOROEDD MAWR
Reflecting the difficult times our world is facing.
Image from Lockdown 2020 Textile Series for Solo Exhibition in UK in 2021.
SLATE MOUNTAINS OF SNOWDONIA / MYNYDDOEDD LLECHI ERYRI
Photo of Annie (by Frances Belsham) with background Snowdonia Mountain Range and Quarries (photo by Douglas Atfield).
Annie’s work reflects her love of the sea and the timelessness of landscape. There are glimpses from afar of some real, some imaginary lands as seen from the ocean. There is a thread of ‘hiraeth’ (Welsh longing for home) woven into her work.
Commissioned altar frontal and side hangings designed and handmade for St. Mary’s Church, Wivenhoe. This popular image was adapted and used for chasuble commission for St. John the Divine Cathedral, New York.
Annie uses highly decorative techniques crossing the boundary between fine and applied art. The work includes paintings, church hangings and robes, costumes, framed land and seascapes. She uses fabrics that are difficult to combine, silk, satins and metallic fibres that reflect light and animate the surface. Strong colours inspire her, textures and raw edges give depth and dimension. Some materials used are recycled from costumes, the smallest pieces shaped into shoals of gleaming tropical fish.
Looking at Snowdonia over the Menai Straits, Gwynedd
“On the riverfront we found the work of Annie Bielecka, I loved her work, made in textiles, it’s full of colour and movement. I was really fascinated by how the textiles were used to create artworks, I did a bit of research about the artist and learned that she considers these to be painting with textiles and they certainly look that way. Bielecka does also work in paint and I was particularly drawn to this image, [Painted Quilt 2]. There’s so much in it, the grid made me think of Agnes Martin but this is not about rigidity, it’s much more joyful and uplifting. Full of colour, I loved the pieces of iridescent shell and bits of thread all seemingly interconnected with little golden dots.” – Gallery Tart Review