Victoria Horkan | ArtGallery.co.uk
Victoria Horkan’s work offers a bold, vibrant and expressive milieu of forms and colours that falls somewhere between the realms of impressionism, abstraction and expressionism. Taking inspiration from the natural world, her paintings make reference to creatures from the sky and sea. Yet her work is by no means directly representational and alludes to subjects such as birds and butterfl ies by offering a mere suggestion of their forms rather than any literal or realistic transcriptions. She playfully engages with scale and perspective, making large what is typically small but her central focus is on colour, gesture and mark making. Pure, bright colours that are set in sharp contrasts of light and dark, warm and cold are combined with loose, distinct brushstrokes that resonate strongly with the impressionist tradition. These strong, confidently placed marks are the sign of an assured and mature artist and the manner in which they are applied creates a sense of movement, giving the work an energetic, flickering quality that is particularly evident in her underwater scenes. Horkan is indeed fascinated by the idea of transcribing sensation and used to sit in the dance studios at Bretton Hall College in order to try and capture the dancers’ movements through sketching. Horkan is aware of what a powerful stimulus colour can be and recognises its capacity to affect mood and to generate particular emotions. She strives to make good use of this in her art, believing painting should be able to move the viewer in much the same way that music may move the listener. Kandinsky was the first artist to seriously explore the connections between music and art, believing musical and visual expression could be used to simultaneously illuminate and intensify each other. He saw the two subjects as deeply interconnected and claimed that ‘generally speaking, colour is a power which directly influences the soul. Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with the strings. The artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul’. Such theories seem to apply to Horkan’s work. She is not looking to translate a particular narrative or to provide work that is radically conceptual. Rather she seeks to leave the viewer with a lasting impression, to bring them to a place of joy even on the darkest of days and her colourful paintings radiate an energy that is truly uplifting and invigorating. Horkan's work has become highly sought after, doubling in value in the past year. With backing from government ministers her work has been selected to feature on official documents to be distributed throughout the house of commons. She has also sought recognition from some extremely high calibre galleries and exhibited alongside works by Picasso earlier this year. Galleries have recognised that Horkan delivers an individual technique, and her understanding of the colour palette is immediate and effective. Technically her work is immediately high standard and compelling she has developed a style transforming the canvas into an almost 3D like effect with her clever use of paint. This style has become immediately popular with artists attempting to emulate this to a lesser degree. However the true encapsulating beauty of her work can only be appreciated when you see these timeless, detailed deeply emotional paintings in reality. Exhibiting in Lagalleria, Pall Mall and Meller Merceux Gallery in Oxford her work now has collectors from the Cotswold area, New York, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Italy.