Meet The Maker – Anya Keeley

Anya Keeley - artist

Anya Keeley – Creator & curator of curious creatures & whimsical wonders

From a very young age, Anya has compulsively collected found objects and ephemera, squirreling them away into jars, tins and suitcases; she believes that this is a knock-on effect from her mother’s intuitive thriftiness. Anya now curates a collection of collections which include driftwood, sheet music and ephemera, darning mushrooms, oil cans, vintage kitchenalia and board games. Enticed by the beauty of patina, which only comes with age and wear, Anya assembles these pieces into whimsical works of art.



Inspiration comes from fairy tales, nursery rhymes and the curiousness of the natural world. Often the creatures she makes are pure figments of her imagination. She tries to envisage the oddities that many a Victorian explorer could have encountered on voyages to different lands. These whimsies are then named and labelled. A museum of her own fantasy.


Sculpture on building brick

Anya uses an array of processes in her work because of the variety of mediums she incorporates; however, wire-working is a common feature. She uses brass wire, shaped, soldered and hammered, to form the basis of her dioramas and brush sculptures. The final stage of each piece consists of using a water based varnish to seal and protect any vintage paper and ephemera.

Bird on building block

Bird on building block

As for designing, for many years Anya has used large old music books into which she collages cuttings from books and magazines. These books are chronologically numbered for ease of reference and contain a variety of images from photographs of creatures to other artist’s work. She now has a veritable library as she is currently working on reference book number 37!



As Anya rarely puts designs down on paper, sketching for her is done three-dimensionally in wire. Quite often she will have several pieces at different stages of production on the go, flitting back and forth until the right object finishes the piece.

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