54 INTERVIEW Victoria Horkan
ich with texture and a fearless use of colour, Victoria Horkan’s large-scale works in paint are a powerful tour-de-force of emotion; full of vigour, movement and buoyant expression. Through the use of mixed media and a sculptural technique combining photography and taxidermy with paint, Horkan’s works have a three-dimensional quality, capturing the essence of her subject matter which extends across the canvas like the wings of a living butterfly. Having caught the attention of galleries across the UK and overseas, Horkan’s works are regularly exhibited in both group and solo shows.
Tell us about your process, how much preparation goes into a new work? I don’t sketch anything out to begin with because the paint dictates how the painting is going to develop. The paint work takes centre stage, I’m almost using it in a sculptural way and allowing it to manoeuvre its way around the canvas. I’ve never drawn anything first, I’d find that restrictive and completely banal. The way the paint marries with other colours and forms new textures - that’s what excites me so there has to be a lot of spontaneity in how I work. It’s difficult to analyse the way you paint, and it’s not all instinctive as it does have to come from an idea; but the
interesting part is the story it tells along the way and the results you can never really plan. How do you source the images used within your paintings? I visit lots of butterfly houses and take photos while I’m there. I love photography and incorporating it into my work really excites me. I like to embed the photos into the oil paint and make the textured elements look like butterfly wings. I distort the cuttings so it questions the viewer as to what is painted and what is not; those important little details are everything. I’ve recently started using taxidermy in my work and
For many artists the purpose of their practice is to explore the human condition and the seemingly infinite questions of existence that may...