Having a chance to visit an artist in their home and studio is always insightful and surprising. The first thing to notice at the home of Vicky Lord is that art is the dominant feature.
The house presents a collection of diverse and beautifully executed artworks from an eclectic range of artists turning home into a playful saloon-style space. There is so much to see and discuss! But we are here to look at the ‘how and why’ of Vicky and her art practice. Ironically much of the discussion that unfolds becomes about ‘should and could’!
Auckland born and raised, Vicky studied design in Wellington after leaving school. Working with textile companies such as Seneca (Auckland) it is not difficult to see how the world of luscious interiors and textiles has influenced her art practice.
Yet, there is a clear distinction between art and design in Vicky, that resonates with the yin and yang parts of the self. Design sits firmly in the ‘should’ while her art practice lines with the ‘could’.
Coming back to art after balancing life between stay-at-home motherhood and freelance designer, Vicky talks sincerely about the love of process in her art making. It's easy to see why as we step into her garage studio and have a sneak preview of the process in action.
Vicky builds surfaces with a variety of water-based paints - from top shelf acrylic tubes, to liquids, water spray bottles, house paint and an exquisite matte paint called flashe. She uses a squidgy rubber or roller to almost wash the board or canvas in paint. The colours she chooses at the start are intuitive rather than carefully selected. The layers build and dry, sometimes they’re scrapped or sanded back revealing, concealing and then exposing the subject or form.
There is an organic flow to her painting practice, which is multidimensional. The influence of ancient Japanese textiles and woodcuts, French wall papers, botanics and figures, Henri Matisse cut outs, Frida Karlo’s blue – is all present. Along with the release of expression itself.
The beauty of emerging artists work is the freedom and the play of practice. Vicky Lord's, first solo exhibition certainly is full of these aspects. Abstract work can contain a certain random chaos, but this is not that kind of work. It’s elemental and gestural. The flat blocks of colour frame and contain leaves and petal-like forms full of depth.
The studio, home and work Vicky is presenting at Kina Gallery is certainly cathartic; it calms and settles as comfortably as the artist presenting it.
Exhibition opening 7th June 2019
Text: Tabatha Forbes, Exhibition Co-ordinator
Images: Katie O'Neill Photography