Val Close studied in Britain and the U.S.A., at Syracuse University, New York. Val has exhibited in solo shows and group exhibitions all over the world. She has work in important collections in Britain, USA, Europe, and Australia. Since Val Close returned from New York, she has produced a number of distinct bodies of work. Although superficially stylistically different, a fine philosophical thread links each series. Her use of gaudyand “kitsch” imagery relates back to her childhood, as well as to her later experience working as a shop front display artist. This interest was further enhanced by her American Experience. The overt figuration of her early works came directly out of her experience as artist in residence with the Northumbrian Police Force. The themes then were possessions and materialism; these are still her abiding preoccupations. She is also interested in the psychology of collecting, believing that the detritus of everyday living displays a subconscious portrait of ourselves. She sees the materialist culture and shopping mentality of the early 21st century as a metaphor for frustrated ambitions and simulated experiences. The most recent work seeks to place all of these concerns within a new context. Borrowing from a multitude of classical and ethnic sources including Victorian ‘trompe l’oeil’, and oriental poster designs, she juxtaposes these with grids, layers, and boxes, seeking to reinvent the still life as a vehicle for these obsessions. There is also in this work, a deliberate attempt to harness her usual preoccupations into a tighter more associative framework. At the same time seeking to incorporate overt social and political issues into the inherited structure of her formal development.
The more functional scarves, bags & cushion covers are simply an extension of the paintings & the collage, combining appropriated recycled materials with complex formal pattern making techniques. She is currently extending this process via large sewn Wall Hangings.
Val has exhibited her paintings widely throughout the world, including; -
Rome Art Centre – New York City,
Cornell University USA,
Bronwen White Gallery – New Orleans,
Centrum BeeldendeKunst – Gronongen/Holland,
Bergens Kunstforening – Norway,
Tampera Taidemuseo – Finland,
Central House of the Artists – Moscow,
Latvia Academy of Art – Riga,
King Plow Art Centre – Atlanta/Georgia,
Lewers Gallery – N.S.W./Australia,
Artists Union Gallery – Bratislava/Slovakia,
Webster University – St Louis/Misourri,
University of Maryland – Baltimore,
Thomas K. Laing Gallery – Vienna.
Residencies include; -
Western Sydney University-Australia,
The Northumbria Police Force & Northern Cancer Centre, England.
Most recent Exhibitions include-
John Bloxham Gallery, London
‘Firstgrowth’ 1st St Gallery, New York City,
Hicks Gallery, London
‘Objects & Interiors’, Lacey Contemporary Art, London, January 2015
‘Home Comforts’ Lacey Contemporary Art, London, December 2015
‘Sweet Dreams of Contentment’ Brian Ord, Val Close, Pete Scott
The Customs House , Tyne & Wear, June / July 2016
‘House & Hotel ‘, Lacey Contemporary Gallery, London, November 2016