Victoria Malcolm

Victoria Malcolm

Gallerist, Arts administrator, Project manager, Teacher

 I am interested in how images can speak, in the the subtleties of visual language in translation from one medium to another. I work figuratively as a route to narrative painting based on existing images, personal, archive and found imagery.

I assemble collections of images which offer connections both familiar and unfamiliar , in order to spark associations of experience within the lives of others. In this way I seek connections.

Recently I looked back at my own life story; a background of schooling in apartheid South Africa, of being set apart, made an observer by my awareness of the iniquities of apartheid at a time when it was assumed by the ruling class to be the norm.

I recognise and explore the legitimacy of appropriation and reference to the multitude of factors which make up my personal outlook and vocabulary. Revisiting Cape Town in 2010, I looked at images of wealth in property adverts, typified by swimming pools and spaciousness.

An interest in the underpinnings of a civilised world have lead me to look at systems and objects which represent their function: the housing market, swimming pools, water; for their aesthetic, abstract and pictorial qualities and their symbolic content as signifiers of an orderly existence, now under question or development.

My formative years were spent living in North and South Africa and London before settling in West Wales as an adult, so I am an outsider, accustomed to adapting to new cultures and spoken languages. 

An early training in traditional fine art painting underpins all my figurative work, with a more recent graduation in contemporary practice and theory for a 1st class BA (Hons) in Fine Art painting at the West Wales College of the Arts.

I have long been involved in social practice: co-founding an artist-led cooperative gallery. My interest in politics is evident in some of my work to do with migrations from north Africa towards European shores, crossing the  Mediterranean waters.

My longer-term ambition is to bring international connections to rural west Wales, building on the contacts made in southern Africa and at the 54th Venice Biennale and  at Thupelo 2012, an international artists' workshop at Triangle Network's Bag Factory studios in Johannesburg.

I believe there is a useful conversation to be had between artists from countries which have recently emerged from the experience of being colonised by the UK, Wales being perhaps the 1st colony.

I am currently working on bringing contemporary African and Welsh/UK artists together to share skills and experience. I set up a small scale Triangle Network international artists workshop in rural west Wales, with an award from the Arts Council of Wales to run a pilot artists workshop, Popty bach 2013 , with 6 of us from southern Africa and the UK. Next up will be another version, Popty 2015, with 25 artists in collaboration with Oriel Q Gallery in Pembrokeshire, funded by the Arts Council of Wales, in October 2015.

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Location Carmarthen, Wales
Activities Adult education, Practice-based research, Workshops, Participatory projects, Project management
Artforms / type of project Project, Drawing, Painting, Photography, Printmaking
Tags South Africa, apartheid, figuration, painting, socially engaged, appropriation, illusion, representative, trompe l'oeil, infrastructural systems

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