Anja Seiler is an artist who works with earth. Born in 1971 in Berlin, she landed after a nomadic childhood in Geneva. Attracted by the manual profession of the potter and the material clay, she abandoned university studies in History of Art in Vienna to study ceramics for five years at the School of Applied Arts and later at the HEAD.
Following a BA in ceramics, she co-founded the design group akamis, active in the creation and production of tableware objects manufactured by small local companies in Switzerland. She participated and co-produced the traveling exhibition of contemporary ceramics, “1001 Cups », a tribute to the Indian archetype teacup touring India, China, South Korea, France and Switzerland.
For ten years (2007-17), she coordinated the International Academy of Ceramics, based at the Ariana Museum in Geneva, promoting contemporary ceramics internationally. She contributed to the organization of its biennial Congresses and General Assemblies around the world.
In 2011, she decided to prioritize her artistic practice; she presented in 2012 her first solo exhibition, “Grounding,” at the Usine Kugler in Geneva. Since then, she has presented her work at numerous exhibitions in Europe and Asia. She has participated in several competitions, exhibitions and awards. Elected as an IAC member and Swiss representative on the Council in 2020, she has been involved in the organization of the 50th IAC Congress held in Geneva in 2022, including the creation of an exhibition at the UN Palais des Nations pinpointing the idea of cultural diplomacy through clay and its soft power.
Being offered a teaching position, including the history of ceramics at the CFPArts, she’s delighted to focus her interest on art and ceramic culture, which influences and nourishes her personal artistic work.
Through teaching, she passes on her passion for ceramics to young people from all walks of life, trying to foster an integration process through art for unaccompanied minor migrants and minor school drop-outs and transmitting professional know-how to ceramics apprentices in art schools and to university art students at the HEAD in Geneva.
Anja Seiler’s artistic work explores the material earth in a broad sense: Clay as a metaphor for earth.
The earth which refers to the forces of attraction and gravity keeping us grounded -to the planet, its geology and its concentrated rotations, the earth which is synonymous with life and medium for seeds and plants, the earth which separates the over- from the underground and which finally proposes the material clay allowing to materialize all these related questions.
She’s fascinated by the secular relationship between humans and clay throughout history.
Not only due to its intrinsic lively and transformative character—this prima materia is probably the most human of all: It seems like a soulmate who, in the creational process, guides the projection of an idea very quickly towards a hands over mind dialogue where clay takes over.