Photo credit - Audrey Russell Photography
Predominately a painter for many years, I have always had a love of sculpture and construction. This has led me to focus on creating wire sculptures of wildlife as well as the human form.
My process begins by creating a wire sculpture, which can remain solely wire or go on to be part covered in plaster. Part covering allows for representation of both the internal form and external surface. The wire as if the bones, the structure, and the plaster the skin, the coat. Many smaller pieces will be set into resin or plaster. Texture is also important, especially where there is a combination of materials within one piece, so my intentions is to invite the viewer in to explore this within my work.
Although sculpture is my starting point, two-dimensional work is still very much a part of my practice. Once a sculpture is complete, I play around with light and shadow to create a series of images that either remain as a photo or go on to influence drawings and paintings on to a variety of surfaces. These can be representational or quite abstract. One work evolves into a whole series of works.
My practise reflects a love of form, light, and a continuous curiosity for experimenting with a variety of media and seeing how they work together.
In 1993 Vanessa attended a 9-month programme at Lorenzo De Medici, School of Art, Florence, Italy studying figurative drawing and painting, then continued to live, work and paint in Switzerland until January 1998 when she obtained an 18-month sponsorship to attend The New York Studio School of Drawing Painting and Sculpture. Vanessa then won scholarships from the school to complete the three-year program, including a 4-month exchange in autumn 2000 to the Ecole de Beaux Arte, Marseille, France.
After graduating from the Studio School in spring 2001, she was accepted to take part in the Studioscape Residency Program run by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council on the 91st Floor of the North Tower of the Twin Towers. The residency was tragically ended on September 11th, which then forced Vanessa to return to Scotland where she works as a full time artist.
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