Artist Victoria Horkan shows her unique take on nature through a vibrant and expressive series of paintings.
Victoria Horkan brought up in a small mining village and studying in the famous grounds where Henry Moore sculptures provided the backdrop of the landscape of Yorkshire. Horkan became fascinated with the idea of transcribing sensation by painting dancers in the studios at Bretton Hall University. Her ability to capture movement through painting was encouraged by her peers who encouraged her to follow this desire and helped shape her technique.
‘My paintings are so textural that plays an integral part of each piece, it means I can bring my butterflies to life, I am almost sculpting the forms of butterfly wings as I paint.’
Taking inspiration from the from the natural world her paintings make reference to creatures from the sky and sea. Yet her work is by no means representational and alludes to subjects such as birds and butterflies 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 rich applications of colour 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 accomplished painter and the manner in which they are applied creating a sense of movement, giving the work an energetic flickering quality.
Horkan is aware of what a powerful stimulus colour can be and recognises its capacity to effect 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’. is the keyboard the eyes are the hammers and the soul is the piano with strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another to cause vibrations in the soul. Such theories apply to Horkan’s work. She is not looking to translate a particular narrative or to provide work that is radically conceptual, she doesn’t feel like she has to. Rather seek to leave the viewer with a lasting impressing, to bring them to a place of joy even on the darkest of days and her colourful paintings radiate an energy that is truly profound.
At times the process of painting takes her into totally abstract realms and this is where Horkan herself experiences the joy of artistic epiphany, absorbed in only the mark making and application of colour, she finds herself totally free to express the vision that comes from within. Having already exhibited in Hong Kong, (with Riseart), Soho, London, Belfast and with clients in America, Germany Abu Dhabi Victoria Horkan is definitely a name to watch.