She held her pose with grace, steady and sure. As the room traced her curves, she relaxed into the sound of pencils shedding their skin, skittering across paper and rustling in tins.
Well Rounded was conceived in the studio of Johannesburg-based artist Anne Maggs. During a life-drawing session with a plus-size model, Maggs decided to sketch the model’s outline instead of embarking on an intricate life drawing. From this session emerged a series of stylised line-drawings and, eventually, colourful paintings of the woman in three different poses.
On the well-rounded side herself, Maggs, the mother of two daughters in their twenties, had long been concerned about what she saw to be a rapidly growing trend – unlike the life-drawing model, people were generally unhappy in their own skin. Well Rounded confronts this and celebrates the human form in all shapes and sizes, rather than conforming to an ideal of perfection that is unrealistic.
Well Rounded is an exploration of bold form and unapologetic womanhood. It’s an expression of bravery and strength. It’s about owning the skin you’re in and celebrating your place in space.
Anne Maggs was born and raised in Port Elizabeth. With a degree in journalism, she started her career as a reporter on The Herald, before moving with her husband, Jeremy, to Durban. There she worked for The Mercury, before moving to Johannesburg and The Star. Following the birth of her first daughter, she started freelancing for magazines and penned the best-selling book Baby Micaela (published in 1996).
In 2009, Maggs discovered a love of painting. She launched her artistic career with a successful solo exhibition entitled Beyond the Lines. She was invited to exhibit with a Johannesburg art collective and has since been showcased at a number of exhibitions, including the prestigious Hyde Park Rotary Art Festival, as well as at the Gordon Institute of Business Science. Her work has found its way into private and corporate collections around the world.