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Bernard Levin, Bronze
The following article first appeared in SAGA Magazine, March 2010

Annie Field swapped her pressured career in London for a studio in Devon. She lives near Exeter with her husband of nine years and has one stepdaughter and two grandchildren.

Annie Field always knew she wanted to go to art college, but her mother insisted she should get a job. "I did what I was told and by the age of nineteen I was working with an interior designer. I didn't stop working for the next thirty-two years". During that time she acquired an international clientele and a shop, Sloane Decorators, in Chelsea. In the late Nineties she became one of television's leading celebrities when, with the interior designer Jane Churchill, she presented ITV's Finishing Touches, a series in which the duo looked at the work of artisans and how to re-create it. "I was having a fantastic life. Many of my clients gave me a completely free hand and I was travelling all over the world."

She reached her fifties and met the man she would later marry, industrialist Sir Malcolm Field. As their romance blossomed, her business suffered a series of setbacks. The lease on the shop expired and both her assistant and her secretary gave in their notice. 'I said to Malcolm, 'I'll have to start all over again.' He very sweetly said 'You don't have to.'"

She thought at last she would have time to paint, but fate stepped in. She dislocated a finger and a friend recommended an independent practitioner in Devon to straighten it out. "It turned out that she was a stress counsellor and I realized that there had been a mistake. I made to leave, but she insisted I stay and said she would read my 'aura'." The woman began to describe her life: "She saw Malcolm, she saw happiness, she saw a complete career change. She said she saw sculpture, and that really made me sit up"

So convincing was she that Annie changed her plans and enrolled in the Sculpture Academy in south-east London. "I felt so free. I was completely obsessed, driven. I kept experimenting, until I decided to work with plaster and clay." She had modelled one head - "a boy in sculpture school, whom I did sleeping, because I couldn't do eyes". Then her close friend Liz Anderson, the companion of the late Bernard Levin, the eminent journalist, commissioned her to do a bust of his head.

"When she first saw it her face broke into a broad smile." That kick-started a career and now Annie, who always works from life, typically has three or four commissions on the go. "I have so many ideas whirling round my head I have to keep a check on myself".


Work For Sale from the Academy
Bernard Levin
On A Knife Edge 1
Sculpture on Original Scythe
Cold Cast Bronze
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