Val studied Fine Art (painting) at St Martins School of Art, London 1991-1994
1998 Swan House : Suffolk
1999 Expresso Café : Norwich
2000 Frames Gallery:Norwich
2003 Last Gallery: Zurich
2005 Last Gallery: Zurich
2006 St Giles Gallery: Norwich
2008/9 St Giles Gallery: Norwich
2011/2012 Last Gallery: Zurich
1992 Cambridge Library : Cambridge
1993 The Gallery : Cambridge
1998 John Innes Centre : Norwich
1998 Eastern Open, Fermoy Gallery : Kings Lynn
1998 Playhouse Theatre : Norwich
1998 Gallery Cafe : Reading
1999 Open Studios : Norwich
2001 Regatta Fine Art : Norfolk
2001 British Contemporary Art, Deloitte and Touche: Zurich
2011 Norwich Assembly Rooms: Norwich
2012 Cambridge Buddhist Centre : Cambridge
2012 Parallax : Chelsea London
2012 Affordable Art Fairs London Bristol Stockhom
2012 Enid Lawson Gallery : London
2012 Gallerytop : Derbyshire
2012 Artwave West : Dorset
2013 Harley Gallery Open : Nottinghamshire
2013 Open Up Studios : Sheffield
2013 Torr Vale Mill Derbyshire Open
2013 Wirksworth Arts Trail
2013 Jack Sevens Gallery : Macclesfield Cheshire
2013 Selected for Midlands Open at Tarpay Gallery
2013 Artwave West : Dorset
Each mark or the placing of paint is independent and has its own beauty. These marks make up the painting, which as a whole, has to work well and evoke a passionate intimacy, that draws the viewer closer, to view the surface.
I work on canvas using oil and wax which is layered and then, in part, scraped back in order to reveal what lies beneath. I am fascinated by colour and form, by the elements, by open spaces and by the play of light and endeavour to make that which is invisible, visible. Form and colour are juxtaposed so that the viewer is challenged as they experience the paintings, which invite us to let go of our fixed preconceptions and bring our imagination into play through entering into a more liminal state of awareness – an awareness of the possibilities beyond dualism, an awareness that might glimpse states of changed consciousness, an awareness of awakening to beauty.
As a Buddhist I paint in relation to the indefinable, transient nature of ‘being’ and as such my paintings are contemplative, meditative and mysterious. They are textural, intimate, poetic pieces that are interesting and continually changing both from afar and close to. They beckon the viewer to … touch. The paintings require a spacious setting so that there is a ‘silence’ surrounding them.
When I begin painting I have an idea of colour/s and a thread of forms. Then I start to work. What’s important to me is to ‘let go’ into the work and not try to force anything to happen. My process is the interplay between technique and experience and surrendering to the … unknown. My best paintings have emerged from a struggle, a struggle where ‘I’ am trying to dictate a pattern but then surrender to the painting while still remaining aware and present.
Many artists describe a state of mind that comes over them when they are making their best work, a sense of detachment or loss of deliberate intention, resulting in a kind of calm that descends over all actions where the artwork seems to be making itself. When it’s over you seem to wake up and all the little details and decisions become self-conscious again. I met a Zen priest who was also an artist……I guess he taught me how to BE art not how to make it.
Shall painting be confined to the sordid drudgery of facsimile representation of merely mortal and perishing substances and not be, as poetry and music are, elevated to its own proper sphere of invention and visionary conception?
A work of art must be wrapped about with a certain ceremony, a sort of reverential mystery, if it is to fulfil its function properly. We must sit before it devoutly. We must meditate on it and discover little by little all the intimacy and grandeur the sentiments and ideals that its creator has breathed into it.