Victoria Malcolm

Artist, Gallerist, Arts administrator, Project manager, Teacher

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

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

Initially I looked back at my own life story with 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 in running 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 azure 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 most recently at Thupelo 2012, an international artists' workshop at Triangle Network's Bag Factory studios in Johannesburg.

I am working towards bringing contemporary African and Welsh/UK artists together to share skills and experience. I set up a trial 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 may be Popty 2015, with 25 artists.

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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
Website http://www.popty.org

News & Events

  • Winter group show at King Street Gallery artists cooperative Carmarthen

    28/11/2014 – 02/01/2015
    King Street Gallery Carmarthen

    new work in the gallery artists collective exhibition of mixed media work including a special 12 days of Xmas section!Opens 28th November.

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  • BEEP Wales 2014 painting prize exhibition

    BEEP Wales 2014: over 40 paintings by international and regional artists selected for exhibition in a temporay contemporary vacant shop space on Swansea's High street. Organised by elysiumgallery.com

  • Autumn group show in Carmarthen's Oriel King Street Gallery

    2 new works in a cooperative gallery artists show till end of November only. See www.kingstreetgallery.co.uk.

  • From Here & There:Drawings from Swansea to Colorado: contemporary artists exchange in a tour.

    A drawing of mine has been selected for the Swansea/Colorado exchange exhibition about contemporary drawing.Opens 29th Nov. at Iceland old store, High St , Swansea. See www elysiumgallery.com

  • Dylan Thomas Centenary exhibition

    04/08/2014 – 15/08/2014
    Swansea Grand Theatre Level One Arts Wing

    'Sleeping poet',a drawing made in response to the centenary of the poet Dylan Thomas' birth; part of a group show representing the artist-led King Street Gallery at the Swansea Grand Theatre.

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  • From Here & There:Drawings from Swansea to Colorado

    29/11/2014 – 20/12/2014
    the old ICELAND store High St Swansea

    The second and final stage of the selected exhibition of drawings from Swansea in an exchange with Colorado; it includes one piece of mine, 'Veil'. There is a fully illustrated catalogue .

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  • From Here & There:Drawings from Swansea to Colorado

    01/09/2014 – 31/10/2014
    Clara Hatton Colorado

    A drawing selected for a two stage exhibition of contemporary drawings in an exchange between Swansea's Elysium Gallery and the Clara Hatton in Colorado, starting in Colorado and returning to Swansea.

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  • High Summmer group show

    02/08/2014 – 30/09/2014
    King Street Gallery Carmarthen

    Mixed media exhibition by members of King street Gallery artist cooperative gallery.

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  • Work in progress/gwaith ar gweill-a retrospective and installation.

    01/09/2014 – 30/09/2014
    The Powerhouse/Pwerdy, Pontyweli Llandysul

    a selection of work made since moving to Wales 30 years ago: paintings, lifedrawings, documentary photographs,and a jigsaw puzzle installation.

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