Featured Artist 2018
In 2018, Arts in the Valley invited a nationally recognised regional artist as a Featured Artist. The Featured Artist was given an entire room of the Kangaroo Valley Hall for a one-person show parallel to the curated Exhibition.
Our Featured Artist was dual Archibald finalist (2017, 2018) Vanessa Stockard of Bowral, NSW.
Vanessa Stockard is a contemporary Australian artist who has been painting and exhibiting for over 20 years. Born in 1975 in Sydney, she spent her formative years in a small country town in the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales. She attended the Julian Ashton Art School and North Sydney Art School and received her BFA from UNSW COFA.
Vanessa Stockard in her studio
The imagery in her works is from close people, close nature and close surroundings: “Shadows and reflections carefully rendered reveal the distortion of thoughts and experience as I try to live in the moment, yet struggle to do so. I bend light around corners. Shadows and reflections are nonsensical yet compositionally interesting. I make new connections with colour and texture in each painting”.
One commentator has noted, “The deceptive everyday nature of her subject matter belies hidden depths of relationship, feeling and emotion. One could describe her process as absence of thought, a freedom of construct, not unlike the stream of consciousness associated with authors such as Hemmingway and Thomas Wolfe.”
If light and shade were students, she would be their master. This skill, combined with a naturally deft hand and a determined use of perspective, imbues her subjects with gravitas. Vanessa Stockard refers to set design elements that often alter and morph as her piece progresses.
Vanessa Stockard has had 20 solo shows since 1999 in Australia and the USA, and been in many more group shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong, New York, Berkeley and Portland and throughout regional NSW. Her prizes include Highly Commended, Goulburn Regional Gallery, 2013; Finalist, Portia Geach Memorial Award, 2017; and repeat Finalist, Archibald Prize, 2017 & 2018. She has recently accepted a residency at Chateau Orquevaux, France.
The artist with her partner, the videographer Will Wolfenden, at the 2018 Archibald Prize Ceremony
Yoghurt and Ash
Room with Vaulted Ceiling
All images used with permission of the artist.
Videos about Vanessa's work:
Vanessa Stockard Solo Exhibition