Anna Hoyle’s colourful gouache paintings skewer advertising, self-help and consumer trends and culture. Your choc-mint pelvik floor is so boring presents Hoyle’s tongue-in-cheek works as both fictional book covers and text-based paintings. The works give a knowing wink to the viewer while putting a satirical spin on well-known cultural tropes and echoing what Hoyle calls “absurd aspirations”.
Language is central here. “She asked Belts n Bags.com to stop sending emails to her gynaecologist,” one book cover reads. “Your boobs can fix it,” another declares, with an image of a smiling pair of breasts, nipples as hands, working away at a desk. “I hate IKEA pencils,” shouts a further piece, with the text etched onto—you guessed it—an IKEA pencil.
Hoyle has long drawn inspiration from advertising in her work, even before it moved into the artistic space—her first job involved copywriting and sign writing for a chocolate company. “I had always drawn, but couldn’t believe how exciting it was to activate a space with text,” the Melbourne-based artist says.
In the early 1990s, Hoyle created a suite of etchings and lithographs inspired by car and pantyliner ads; this influence can also be seen in the titles of her works. After a break, during which she focused on ink drawings of chinoiserie and suburban motifs, she returned to making work relating to consumer culture in 2013. And by then, consumer culture had merged with the growing ubiquity of the digital world—as shown in her own work. “I have always been fascinated by the language and look of persuasion in consumer contexts and how words can be loaded, futile or fun,” Hoyle says. “The book trope is funny to me in that we just google those ‘how to’ things now.”
This article was originally published in the January/February 2022 print edition of Art Guide Australia.