Bankside’s current Maker in Residence, Victoria Heald is a London-based artist specialising in painting figurative and animal works on gold.
On her creative works and process, she says..
“My work aims to communicate the intensity of the painted figure through pose, gesture and expression. I often paint women, asking friends and people I admire to pose for me to try to capture the quality I find so interesting in them. I create contemporary figurative paintings by mixing traditional oil techniques with modern mediums, working on canvas, board or metal. The juxtaposition of changing surfaces, materials and compositions act to heighten the figurative image in each piece.”
The figures in Victoria Heald’s work are painted thinly in oils, while the backgrounds use modern light-reflective pigments, taking the subject out of their original context and placing them into a realm without circumstances or conditions. Her new gold works reference the importance gold has played as a medium within the history of painting and creates a contemplative space for the figure in each piece. The grandeur of the gold creates a contrast with the figures' contemporary look, everyday clothes and gestures.
Painting animals gives Victoria Heald a way to experiment further with textures, patterns and the tactile quality paint, which can lend to rendering the different animal's body, fur and skin. Each animal has a varied set of material qualities to communicate to the viewer through different oil paint markings and techniques.
As well as painting, she also creates pen and ink drawings of famous architectural buildings in London. Having lived in London for nearly 10 years, she is inspired by the beautiful variety of architecture in the city. Victoria Heald regularly undertakes commissions of people, animals, buildings and pets. It is her aim to not only capture the physical likeness of the beings in these commissions, but their unique character and personality as well.