Anya Lewin has worked in many diverse fields ranging from shepherding to filmmaking and lecturing. She has been the recipient of two Arts Council England Grant for the Arts and several international residencies. Her works, both individual and collaborative, have been exhibited and screened in such places as Beijing, Bristol, Bulgaria, Cuba, Siberia, Belfast, New York, San Francisco and London.
Her work often reflects her own personal history, which include stories of immigration, translations from multiple languages, and fictional connections to real events. She has completed two parts of a triptych of moving image installations which explore her Jewish family history of immigration as well as their connection to screen history from silent cinema of the German Expressionist Era through to 1950’s & 60’s Hollywood – a path many Jewish immigrants followed. With Heartfelt Gratitude for the Painless Treatment (2008) is set in her grandfather's Berlin dental practice and was developed from an inherited and unexplained collection of autographed photographs of film stars that frequented the practice. Chez Paulette on the Sunset Strip (2013) is based on her father's Los Angeles coffee house frequented by stars such as Marlon Brando, James Dean, Rita Hayworth and Jack Nicholson and aspiring actors such as Suzanne Pleshette, Sally Kellerman and Rue McClanahan waited on the tables. These projects also mark Lewin's turn to working with commercial film crews in order to develop high production values necessary to mimmic the source material the projects draw from.
She was born in Los Angeles and is a first generation American on her fathers’ side and a second generation on her Mothers’. Both branches of her family immigrated to the USA in flight from persecution in Europe. Lewin now lives in the UK and is a lecturer and researcher at Plymouth University. Her own voluntary immigration was the result of a sense of wanderlust, perhaps inherited from her family experience.