Anna Marie Savage is a visual artist who lives in the village of Omeath, Co. Louth, Ireland. She was born in 1966 and is a Fine Art graduate of the University of Ulster, where she received a First-Class Honours Degree in 2009. A core thread that weaves through her work is a probing of identity, ranging from the personal through to the cultural and political sometimes albeit in a romanticized, reminiscent concept. She has become to realise how the effect of a geographical location can have on the emotions and behaviour of the individual and how this relatable connection to the land and, this ever-present psychogeography has now become apparent within her own practice.

She grew up in the border town of Newry, Co. Down in the 1970s and 1980s and has always been fascinated by the Army Watchtowers which were located along the border and in particular the icon imagery that has been left behind, now that the watchtowers have been dismantled. In 2019 she was accepted for Drawn from Borders which was part of the Understanding the Decade of Centenaries project, supported by the European Union’s Peace IV Programme, which asked visual artists to respond to the concept and reality of borders, specifically the border created 100 years ago by the Partition of Ireland.

In 2021, she was selected to show her work, Semtex and Powdered Milk at the RCC, Letterkenny. Frontier Work was a four-person collaborative project curated by historian Garret Carr which was part of the ‘Decade of Centenaries’ project supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and Artlink, Fort Dunree, Donegal. For this project she commissioned a drone photographer to capture images of the now decommissioned thirteen army watchtower sites based along the south Armagh border.

Newry and Mourne Museum’s latest exhibition, Newry Artists Past and Present show two of her paper pieces from the series, Túír Faire (Watchtowers). Savage used to walk past a ‘watchtower’ structure almost every day in her local village and photographed it in every type of light, weather and season. It was actually a disused, tall climbing tower in the old Táin Village Holiday Centre, Omeath, Co. Louth but reminded her of the old army watchtowers she used to see as a child when she crossed the border at Cloughouge Bridge, Newry. She wanted to recreate an image incorporating the tools that the British Army would have used in surveillance from their watchtowers and experimented with different filters and played about with the photographic images. She eventually settled on a solarized filter; this is similar to the results an army thermal vision camera would have given as it detects temperature change and translated these explorations onto paper. The circle is prevalent throughout all the work as it is synonymous of the night vision camera lens used by the army.

Savage has continuously expanded and explored this topic for the past four years with her work Próiseas (Process) and most recently, Utopian Spaceships and is currently collaborating on a project with Leeds University on an illicit fuels project and its damage to the environment on the Mexican, African and Irish borders.

‘Newry Artists Past and Present’ is on show at Newry and Mourne Museum until the end of April 2024.

To view more of Anna Marie Savage’s work please visit