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Bermudian artist inspired by London fashion

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Artist Annie Outerbridge's passion for fashion has a way of sneaking into her work.

Chanel flats feature in her first art show ever, at the Gallery at Canopius Bermuda.

“The Chanels in the picture are definitely not mine,” said the 28-year-old Bermudian who lives in London. “I wish! I chose them as a subject because I wanted an iconic fashion staple. I love fashion. I also like drawing different fabrics and materials. I like looking at how the clothes fold, and reflect light. It is a challenge that I like.”

She doesn't have any designer clothes, but she loves to look at them.

“The women on the streets of London are very inspiring in terms of fashion,” she said. “It's such an international city and you see such a broad range of style.”

She said her closet is definitely not bursting with clothes because she's moved around a lot in the last couple of years.

After graduation from Tufts University in Massachusetts in 2008, she lived in New York City for a few years. She returned to Bermuda and worked at the clothing store Atelerie for a year, before moving to England last November.

“As much as I love experimenting with fashion in my art, I'm excited about other subject matters,” she said. “I have a lot of ideas and can't wait to get them down on paper.”

Other pieces on display at the gallery depict a large antique Bermuda coin in various colours. One of the coins has already sold, her first sale.

“I loved the detail in that piece,” she said.

She studied architecture in university.

“In my senior year, I realised it was fine arts I was interested in,” she said. “Initially, a degree in architecture seemed like a smart, structured career path as opposed to trying to make it in the crazy art world, which is exactly what I'm trying to do now. I also loved the curriculum of the architectural studies degree which involved art history and tons of drawing and painting classes.”

Right now, she is focused entirely on art.

“Making it in London is definitely harder than I expected,” she said. “London is a very expensive city. It is incredibly challenging as a young person trying to make a living, but I am really passionate about it and slowly things are happening. There is a great international art scene here that I am loving.”

She gets a lot of commissions from Bermuda for portraits of children and dogs.

“The majority of my work has been portraits,” she said. “I usually work from photos people send me. I have always been fascinated with portraits, the details of the face are amazingly intricate and interesting to draw.

“To capture someone's personality and essence in a portrait is hard, but I like this challenge.

“Art and drawing are very fulfilling to me. I don't know quite why, but I have always loved doing it ever since I was little. I think it has to do with making art for other people, giving them something that is special to them and that they'll have forever. I love finishing a piece and presenting it to a client, seeing them happy. That's the best part.”

Her brothers, Graham and Teddy Outerbridge, are also in artistic pursuits in Los Angeles, California. Graham is an actor and Teddy is in film production.

She said the fact that she and her siblings are all artistic is a family joke as their parents, Nancy and Stephen Outerbridge, are not. Her father is retired from the reinsurance industry and her mother is a homemaker.

The Gallery at Canopius show runs at 11 Par-la-Ville Road until June 12. It features the work of several emerging and well known artists including Christina Hutchings, Desmond Fountain, Manuel Palacio and Velina Wheatley-King.

It is open by appointment or by calling 292-9905 ext 33.

For more information see Miss Outerbridge's Facebook page or her Instagram site, @annieouterbridge. E-mail her at annieouterbridge@gmail.com.

Vintage: 1970s Levi's jacket drawn by Annie Outerbridge
Pet subject: Annie Outerbridge gets a lot of commissions from Bermuda for portraits of children and dogs
Iconic item: Chanel flats by Annie Outerbridge
Eye for detail: An old Bermuda coin

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Published March 23, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated March 23, 2015 at 12:26 am)

Bermudian artist inspired by London fashion

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