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Vivienne Baker

Contemporary artist working in the medium of oil on canvas.

My most recent paintings including the 'Reflect' series have moved in a more abstract direction after a series of work initially inspired by Abbots Pond near Abbots Leigh Bristol. The paintings have become about the idea of reflection and are organised in a more formally abstract way by the layering of transparent and opaque paint surfaces with previous elements partially visible beneath. The painted surface, snaking and weaving its way across and over hidden depths of experimentation and struggle is like the surface of a lake, reflecting, concealing, always in motion, hiding what looms below. In the aquatic environment, uninhabitable to us, a glimpse of what lies beneath can only be hinted at.

Concepts :  My general working methods in the mediums of both painting and print-making involve a slow build-up of layers of differing tonal values and opacity and the use of colour contrasts and harmonies in the description of space. Starting points for previous paintings have been memory and the use of tiny low resolution photographs taken on a mobile phone. I have been interested (in the present high-tech climate), to make use of low-tech resources and exploit the distortion and interference that is produced with the enlargement of a low quality image, (or distortion and heightening when relying on memory). Through the use of traditional materials, using untraditional tools such as decorating rollers and spray guns, the image evolves and emerges from a slow multilayering process, creating undefined spaces that the viewer has to work to interpret. The images /memories that I work from are all scenes that I have encountered but changed and distorted during the process of painting, to reveal something new, capturing perhaps only the essence of a place or memory. They suggest that there is more to the story. Some of my previous more figurative paintings are like moments, stills from a film or an old home movie. Ancient woodlands have particular appeal because of the time scale of the life in these settings, compared to the relatively short life of a human or the fleeting monent of a human passing through.

Career path Main Qualifications: 2000 MA, Printmaking, University of the West of England, Bristol 1990 Foundation in Art Therapy, Bath College of Further Education 1988 BA Hons, Fine Art, Coventry Polytechnic. 

Residences/Artists Workshops: 2006 Armenian International Biennale exhibition and residency. 1996 Art OMI Artists Workshop Residency, OMI New York, America 1995 Triangle Artists Workshop, Marseilles, France 1993 Residency, Exhibition and Exchange, Oporto, Portugal 1991 Shaw Farm Artists Workshop, Somerset

Exhibitiing in solo and group exhibitions both locally and internationally since leaving education. Mosty recent international exhibition was 2017 Xishuangbanna group exhibition in Yunnan China and locally 2020 contemporary painters, Centrespace Gallery Bristol.


Blakeney 1

Blakeney 2

Life on Mars (or Bosherton Lily ponds)

Swimmers 3

Swimmers 4

Lilies 1

Abbots Pond Nocturne

Urban Birch

Going with the flow

Reflect 9

Catkin city

Abbots Pond winter

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