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Viv Owen

Visual Artist and Lecturer (she/her)

What I do:

Viv creates vivid freehand gestural oil paintings. She captures fleeting expressions from feature films and television. Viv chooses her subjects from familiar dramas, aiming to portray a key moment of anticipation or reaction. The paintings contain visual clues that they come from a screen: glitches, flashes and interference patterns. Viv hopes viewers will find them puzzling and intriguing, and with a little consideration, relatable.

What steps I took to get where I am now:

Built on six-year career in graphic design for print by returning to further education to develop and formalise skills in visual art. Foundation Level Art, Stockport College Cheshire, BA (Hons) Bradford College, MA at Leeds Metropolitan University in 2000. Working as a lecturer, obtained PGCE in Post-Compulsory Education 2006.
Viv works in a wide variety of settings: colleges, schools, prisons, art studios, museums, galleries, outdoor festivals. Courses delivered include Creative Doctors degree course module at Leeds University, BTEC in Art, Introduction to Pencil Drawing. Community based workshops designed to meet the needs of diverse groups including mental health service users, people with visual impairment, older people, school children, family groups, peer to peer with artists and creative practitioners.

Studio practice: After sharing studio spaces with artists groups in Bradford and Hebden Bridge, moved into Westgate Studios in 2011.Exhibits regularly with Artwalk Wakefield. Working methods include: painting freehand portraits in oils from digitally manipulated self-sourced photographs of mass media. Daily Drawings online project since January 2012. Regularly exhibits in London with FLUX, including at The Design District in 2021 and 2022. Notable local exhibitions include ‘Pause/Play’ at The Project Space, Westgate Studios for Index Festival Wakefield in 2019, and ‘A Splash of Colour’ at Bowery Visual Arts, Headingley with fellow studio holder Helen Field in 2022

What creative opportunities I'm looking for:

Creative workshops, collaborations, exhibition opportunities, illustration, digital opportunities, education opportunities, networking

My proudest moment:

Creating a painting of my music hero Martyn Ware (Human League/Heaven 17) which he now owns and has hanging in his studio!

What does Wakefield mean to me?
My creative home! I'm very proud to be a part of Artwalk Wakefield, and to get radio presenter Stuart Maconie over to visit and write about it in his book 'Pie at Night' (by talking to him about it on BBC 6Music)
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