Anne E. Cox
Where the Cultivated Meets the Wild
Some years ago, while taking in one of the Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild exhibits at the Round Barn at the Shelburne Museum, I was struck by a rug that looked like nothing I had ever seen before. I remember it being edged in red, and it made me think of various layers of the strata of earth, bound by entwined roots. The rug included a border and suggestions of pattern repeat, echoing the idea of classic hooked-rug design choices one might make for placement on the floor, or in front of hearth. But this was different. It also included the feeling of an intimate sense of place, as if the artist wanted me to look more deeply at something vital about the Earth. I remember standing in front of this rug, titled Forest Floor, and thinking, “Who is this person! I want to see the world the way she does!” This person is Anne E. Cox.
When looking at the bodies of work of many artists, you can often trace the path of their influences. While their work may be unique, one can often discern a nod to a past teacher or rug designer. This is how we humans have learned art and craft throughout our recorded history; by letting what has been done inform and influence what we now do. When I look at Anne’s work, I see only traces of Anne and what springs from the earth. She combines colors, patterns, tones, and values in scenes that come together as a sort of narrative about her relationship with landscape.
Anne’s connection with the landscape is more than just through her art. She and Julie Wortman have a company in Martinsville, Maine, called Hedgerow. Hedgerow’s motto is, “Where the cultivated meets the wild.” They design and develop landscape installations. Anne has a strong focus on vegetable gardens and, as she says, “making things,” from imaginative, rustic furniture to hooked rug art.