Hello and welcome. I am Julia Armstrong - human behind Anfisa.
I am not used to putting myself on the front stage; - you would normally find me behind the scenes making things happen. I plan, manage, curate, create, design and frequently get my hands dirty. I truly love seeing creative projects come to life and passionate about enabling people around me to produce their best work.
I have started Anfisa in 2020 after moving from Sydney to Perth in following my husband's career in the Navy. Yep, in the middle of the pandemic. By that stage, I have spent over twelve years building a career in event production; working across arts, corporate and government sectors. From creating hospitality experiences with Chef Matt Moran at Sydney Opera House, to planning a 10,000 people festival in Barrangaroo and producing exclusive experiential events, it was an exhilarating rollercoaster. But something was missing and I was searching for projects that are as creative, as much as drive change and make a difference.
Anfisa encompasses creative project management, curation of a platform that represents Australian contemporary artists, and my personal creative outlet of creating sustainable botanical pieces that enhance interiors and spaces.
My curatorial work started as an avenue of transforming obsession with unique vases into something of body and value. It quickly became an unintentional ambassadorship in promoting ceramic art and those behind the craft. In 2022 I launched a platform that celebrates Australian artists in contemporary ceramics and connects them to audiences in Western Australia, interstate and abroad.
The inaugural exhibition 'The Vessel Edit' was held at Kolbusz Space in Perth and showcased twelve emerging and established artists from across Australia. The collection focused on pieces that translate artists' vision of functional sculpture / sculptural vessel to act as a conjugate in creating an equilibrium of space, vessel and flowers.
Flowers. I took a deep dive into the world of floral design on a whim. I can't pinpoint the thinking process - it was just something I had to explore. What has formed is a sustainable practice, with designs led by the unique shape of natural materials that connect with the inspiration anchor - an interior, architectural element or art object.
the name anfisa
Anfisa is a name of Slavic origin that has been adopted from the Ancient Greek name Anthousa. It means “in blossom” and derives from ἄνθος – “flower”.
The studio is named after my Grandmother – someone who has always had the garden dirt beneath her fingernails, roses blooming at the porch and strawberry fields that greet you in the morning.