Victoria Barker - Biography
"One of my earliest memories is sitting with my sister under the easel in my father’s studio. As he worked on his oil paintings, we would sometimes be allowed to hold the brush and add a tiny dab of paint to his beautiful canvases; so began our lifelong love of art and passion for painting. One other memory must be added to this scene. Not content only with the brush I discovered an interest in the shiny picture-frame wire attached to ready-to-hang artwork. To my eyes it looked like strands of pure gold!
Unravelling this alluring wire was the catalyst I needed to start making jewellery. I could not resist sculpting it into geometric shapes and threading on glass beads. My grandmother observed my fascination and gifted me a wooden chest filled with old costume jewellery and odd earrings. It wasn’t long before I was taking apart necklaces to see how they were made and repurposing the components into my own creations.
Fast forward many years to the present day and you will find me designing bespoke jewellery in my London Atelier and Art Gallery. I believe jewellery is art for the body and paintings are jewellery for interiors.
As a jewellery designer I have to be meticulous with dimensions to within tenths of a millimetres. Concepts must be extensively prototyped before they are ready to wear. I often say that fine jewellery is beauty engineered.
My painting allows me to be far more spontaneous with my creativity. I switch off the analytical part of my brain and allow the paint to lead me, making freeform shapes and merging colours. It's perhaps no surprise that, as a jeweller, I love metallic finishes and gemstone colours. The shapes seen in rocks and minerals are often replicated on a macro scale. My current work focuses on these shapes as seen from an aerial view such as ocean ripples or clouds passing over a mountain range. I work in layers by building up various textures and opacities.
My latest work, although abstract, is strongly influenced by satellite images of our beautiful planet. I begin by sculpting geographical topographies with modelling gels and thick impasto paint, creating contours, ravines and stratified rocks. Subsequent layers of translucent glazes and transparent washes give the impression of ever-changing weather patterns seen in meteorological reports.
Are abstract shapes truly abstract? So often I see fractal shapes forming in my canvasses similar to those I observe in nature. Perhaps there is a sacred geometry in these shapes, and I invite my audience to gently touch my canvasses to experience their 3D elements. We use so much more than our eyes to truly experience art, even more so with wearable art. Our somatic senses are just as important to perceive textures, thereby enhancing our understanding and enjoyment of the object perceived."