Annet Stirling

Annet Stirling is a sculptor, specialising in letters, words and text.  Since the late 1980’s, she has undertaken many public and private commissions in the United Kingdom and Europe, working extensively with Ian Hamilton Finlay and exploring the boundaries of legibility and abstraction in letterform.  Her work can be seen around London in Westminster Abbey, St Martins in the Fields, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Opera House, National Gallery, House of Commons. Like most letter-cutters, Annet was trained in the drawing of specific classical Roman alphabets for carving, yet her work has moved in new and more modern directions, influenced by the physical aspects of mark making using tools on raw stone. More recently the use of laser-cut Corten steel has been explored to produce editioned works.

Annet trained as a graphic designer in the Netherlands before studying lettering at the City and Guilds of London Art School with Berthold Wolpe, and then finishing her education as an apprentice with Richard Kindersley.  In 1988 she formed Incisive Letterwork with Brenda Berman, focusing on large-scale architectural inscriptions and ‘word sculpture’.  She travelled throughout Italy on a Churchill Fellowship studying Roman and Renaissance inscriptions.  She also has a particular love of a quarry in Dorset where she has spent a considerable amount of time over the years.

A selected list of commissions

  • 2019     WESTMINSTER ABBEY stone to PG Wodehouse designed by Stephen Raw
  • 2014     SAID BUSINESS SCHOOL OXFORD fascia carving Thatcher Business Education Centre
  • 2011     EXETER CATHEDRAL GREEN – 10 carved texts in the pavement at the entrances to the Green
  • 2010     KOLN GERMANY memorial stone to architect O.M.Ungers
  • 2009     STOBHILL PARK GLASGOW – carved benches and wild stones with circle poems in collaboration with Platform Projects (Alec Finlay) and Tom Clark
  • 2008     ST MARTIN IN THE FIELDS – donor stone and benches in courtyard
  • 2007     ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL – Re-opening stone for visit of Her Majesty the Queen
  • 2007     ROYAL OPERA HOUSE – Replacement slate Bow Street Entrance
  • 2006     ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL – memorial stone to Roger de Grey PRA
  • 2006     SANKT BIRGITTA KLOSTER DENMARK – commemorative stone for new building
  • 2005     SCHOOL OF SLAVONIC AND EAST EUROPEAN STUDIES – Design of metal title over the main entrance and Princess Royal Opening stone carved in Portland stone
  • 2004/5  NATIONAL GALLERY – Portico carving of title, Getty inscription over the Getty Entrance, donor stones in Main Entrance, Annenberg Court plaster in the East Wing
  • 2003     PRIMARY AUSTIN FRIARS LONDON – Entrance sculpture in Caithness stone
  • 2002     HOUSE OF COMMONS – Queen’s Golden Jubilee Sundial –  design of all lettering and overseeing of the sand blasted text
  • 2001     ROYAL ALBERT HALL – design for commemorative panel on existing monument
  • 2000     NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY – opening stones for the Ondaatje Wing Architects  Dixon Jones
  • 2000     CASTLE MUSEUM NORWICH – 12  wall and floor stones leading to the entrance of the museum. Public Art Project
  • 1999     ROYAL OPERA HOUSE – carved granite inscription on the new building
  • 1998     GEFFRYE MUSEUM – opening plaque in York stone for extension opened by Prince Charles
  • 1992/99  BRITISH MUSEUM – carved plaques in various stones  for opening of refurbished or new galleries
  • 1991     BADEN STATE LIBRARY KARLSRUHE – designed and carved sixteen ‘fragments’ for O M Ungers new Library in conjunction with  Ian Hamilton Finlay
  • 1990     GRANITE PILLARS – River Clyde Glasgow – designed lettering for Ian Hamilton Finlay’s entry for the Four Cities Arts Festival
  • 1990     NATIONAL GALLERY Sainsbury Wing – carved large freeze with Michael Harvey

When visiting her workshop I selected a few of my favourite works.