"Landscape formation and human endeavor (as well as human misrule) go hand in hand (Scruton & Warpole, 2002), and often the land gives up of itself; there are traces everywhere if we would only open our eyes and look".
"For me, landscape is not just what I see but also a way of seeing."
My current body of work seeks to explore and respond to the emotive and psychological idea; what constitutes landscape, why I feel connected with it, and how through the varied use and application of paint, inclusion of symbols or motifs a visual language of my own can be developed, creating something interesting where the viewer can determine for themselves the meaning of the artwork and how to respond.
Through varied layering, pouring and manipulation of paint, use of scale, the inclusion or exclusion of elements, text or symbols and the use of a limited palette, these abstracted topographical landscapes seek to explore and evoke ideas about how identity, connection, trace, residue and belonging can be constituted through place.
These concepts together with reconciling how, since settlement, man has influenced, manipulated and controlled the land have become central to the way I attempt to evoke connection and belonging. The land bears scars and residue of man’s endeavors yet there is still inherent beauty in the vast emptiness, which often extends beyond just what we see.
Originally from the small North Otago town of Oamaru, I currently live and practice in Christchurch, New Zealand. After a career in the corporate environment (and time off raising three girls) I began formal art studies in 2013, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Art with Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design (Auckland) at the end of 2016.
As a practicing artist these days I predominantly work in oil painting, print-making and drawing - although my practice is varied and I enjoy working in whatever medium feels natural. I particularly enjoy the manual process of painting and print-making exploring the materiality of each medium. My creative process and the sourcing of reference material to paint from or find inspiration has always meant photography is important, but it's so much more to me than a means for gathering information. I almost always have a camera (or my iPhone) in my hand, and I'm forever capturing moments, landscapes, architecture (or street art) wherever I go. I'm a natural magpie!
Thematically, the academic side of my practice continues to explore and evoke ideas about identity, connection, trace, residue (of time) and how belonging can be constituted through place. I'm particularly interested in gesture and subtlety ... capturing those small, often unspoken moments in time.
Although I tend to operate (and have a huge passion) within the landscape field, I enjoy painting in other genres. Drawing will always be a passion and charcoal with all its smeary 'messy-ness' and it's ability to suggest a space or motion is just fine by me too.
Following my first solo exhibition at The Anchorage in March 2018, a small regular amount of commissions and a wider following has continued to grow. In 2019, I was selected as a finalist for the Molly Morpeth Canaday Painting & Drawing Award (Whakatāne) and a successful solo show at CoCA, the Centre of Contemporary Art - Toi Moroki (Christchurch) followed where all works sold. Joint shows and a solo in Oamaru in the last two years have been very successful and I look forward to showing more work in the wider arena soon. Between commissions and my own creative work, my practice is widening and I feel I'm finally finding my feet. Refer to my C.V. for more details.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about my practice, are looking into a commission piece, or simply want to know more.
P: 027 232 9730
FB: Viv Wotton - Fine Artist