As an artist, Victoria Peel has had over fifteen solo exhibitions in Australia as well as curated group exhibitions in Australia, USA, UK, and China. Her work has been hung twice in the Salon Des Refuses, Wynne Prize Exhibition at the S.H. Irwin Gallery.
Over the years, Victoria has divided her painting time as much as possible between Sydney and St Albans, where she likes to work with a view towards the escarpment overlooking the MacDonald River, in the Hawkesbury River Area.
The Hawkesbury area provides constant inspiration, with its picturesque landscapes and bold escarpment, for her somewhat impressionist-influenced paintings that render both natural and artificial light.
My work was initially based on the experience of feeling at home (in St Albans) and my love of the area, investigating its history, community and... in time, I began exploring the night light of both the rural and the urban landscape.
In Sydney, my attention was drawn to the waters around Balmain, where the tugboat drawings owe much to the idea of a safe harbour... and memory of my father, a Naval Captain of eleven ships.. and in turn, towards the night time atmosphere of Bondi Beach.
My grandfather grew up in Bondi and my nephews, the "Webber Boys" surfed. Bondi seems to be a place to which I return... it has never ceased to amaze me this beautiful beach on the edge of a city is where one can still experience the vitality of nature...
Bondi and Balmain have been the subject of my visual and psychological experience of the night... forms are hidden, the common place transforms.. (into) passages of light and shadow...I am drawn to that sense of mystery.
Victoria´s works can often contain a sole figure, acknowledging both the experience of isolation, and the isolation of the act of painting and drawing. At times, her work has been likened to Edward Hopper, her subjects are the commonplaces of urban life with still, anonymous figures, and compositions that can evoke a sense of aloneness, although not necessarily the loneliness of Hoppers works.
Max Taylor AM once noted, Victoria´s oil pastels are incredibly strong renditions of night and the electric illumination of the unavoidable night time places/situations that everyone occasionally finds themselves in.
For her exhibition at Artsite this year Victoria returns to St Albans, capturing the incredible light across the Hawkesbury escarpment.
Solo Exhibitions: (Selected)
New art four : profiles in contemporary Australian art, edited by Nevill Drury, Craftsmen House, 1990
Cover Image, "Bondi Stories: The history, culture and people of Bondi Beach", Australia (Volume 2) ISBN: 978-1496093370 Pub: March 2, 2014, Dan Webber (Author).
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