Get Thee to a Nunnery, part of Interfaces at The Barbican

Sculpture, mixed media

Photography by Yuri Pirondi

"Anna Burel’s imagery investigates the representation of women within contemporary culture; her imagery is also rooted in the historical past of London’s East End, giving an emotional response to today’s urban landscape. Through highlighting the role technology and a consumerist society play in distorting and affecting the perception of everyday life, from advertisement to social media. Yet Burel acknowledges that technological revolution is not a new phenomenon, neither is it an object or a way of reproducing the world. Technology is a mind-set, a transformation, a method that enables innovation for better or for worse.

Exploring London through the artist walks of Mnemonic City, Burel has re-discovered both modern and historical images of women, throughout the East End, in a walk from Fish Island Labs in Hackney Wick to the Barbican on the edge of the City of London.


In Burel’s Get Thee to a Nunnery, woman’s existence as only an image is constructed and reconstructed over and over: from the plight of the match girls to the prurient intention of the “Ripper Tours”, from advertising on the sides of buses to the ubiquitous selfie, the body of woman as passive image connects the history of women throughout the centuries. Burel’s still image of woman as sculpture invokes technology, not through an object of technology but through its context of digital reflecting and refracting. Silent and mute she lays back for us available for reproduction, whether to be photographed, or tweeted and re-tweeted, the audience is in control. "

With Special Thanks to Mary Lemley