The unusual shapes and forms of her work, the space-like texture, the delicate elements, all make for unique and intriguing pieces. That is why we choose artist Vic Wright as our next Manc of the Month. There’s only so many times we can post her work on Instagram before you realise we are a little obsessed! Wright says; ‘I have an explorative approach to my work, and want to capture the visual differences between elements, to create a visual language between materials.’
Read our interview below to find out more about Vic Wright’s work, find out who she is inviting to a dinner party, and what drew her to move back to Manchester from London.
Cotton On MCR: How would you describe your work?
Vic Wright: ‘My work references natural forms and I’ve found influence in how they display beauty in difference. Mostly I’m interested in using industrial materials to try to create delicate tactile results.’
CO: We were first introduced to your work last year, when you had an exhibition at Form Lifestyle Store in Northern Quarter. How did that exhibition go?
VW: ‘To give you a bit of back story to the show, we had lived in London for 18 years, a couple of years ago, we upped sticks and relocated to the Manchester suburbs. A move that has allowed me the time and space to get back to my practice, and explore the joys of making again. Although originally from Wigan, the thinking behind the exhibition at Form last September was to reintroduce myself and my work back to the North. The show was a collection of pieces created over the period of a year, and showing them gave me an opportunity to invite and meet new people. To answer your question the show went well thank you and I was really pleased with how it went. I found that putting myself out there and talking about my work not half as nerve racking in reality as I’d built it up to be. By the end of the show I had enjoyed meeting and chatting to all the new people.’
CO: One of our favourite pieces is ‘Meld 1’ – can you tell us more about that?
VW: ‘Meld 1, is the perfect example of experiments in different materials coming together. Each of the three elements were ideas that were made separately from each other. On playing around I discovered that I liked the jarring nature of the contrasting material and surfaces. From making this piece, it then sparked off a whole other area of work to explore.’
CO: Tell us about how you became an artist, where/what did you study?
VW: ‘From Wigan College I went to Humberside University to study Fine Art, which is where my love of sculpture began. I quickly worked out that working the materials with my hands I’m physically part of the process and I can guide the direction the piece maybe taking. When drying the pieces they take on a life of their own. Materials start to activate with each other creating unique outcomes, with every piece being different to the next. I’m still intrigued in this process.’
CO: What would you say is the highlight of your career so far?
VW: ‘So far the biggest highlight for me would definitely be taking pleasure in making again. After having a long creative break to have my daughter, she has now started school and I’m now able to concentrate on my practice. Which I’m finding a real joy.’
CO: What has been your biggest challenge in your career?
VW: ‘My biggest challenge I’m finding so far is time, or lack there of. At the moment I’m in the fortunate position of being able to work from home, which slots in perfectly around my daughters school day. But on the other hand working around school hours can make for a short working day.’
CO: Do you have a favourite piece/a piece of work you are most proud of?
VW: ‘Sorry to give a boring answer but I don’t really have a piece I’m most proud of. I’d say whatever new piece that I’m working on would be the one I’m most interested in. Mostly because I will have been experimenting with a new material and trying to create new results.’
CO: What is the best exhibition you have visited and why?
VW: ‘I’ve found this question one of the hardest as there have been so many greats that have effected me in different ways at different points throughout my life. But l’m going to go with Sam Taylor-Wood (as she was known then) ‘Yes I No’ 2008 exhibition at White Cube Masons Yard. The exhibition upstairs consisted of beautiful landscape photographs of Yorkshire, that were taken in response to Emily Brontes Wuthering Heights. But in one of the rooms downstairs was a video piece called ‘Sigh’. The piece was 100 members of the BBC Concert Orchestra filmed miming the playing of their instruments to music composed by Anne Dudley. The video screens were placed in a around the room in a circle formation, inviting the viewer to move amongst the musicians. The experience was, I imagine, the closest you could get to sitting in the middle of a live orchestra. For that reason I’ve chosen this exhibition because the piece ‘Sigh’ was so unexpectedly emotive for me it took me completely by surprise.’
CO: If you could invite five people to a dinner party, who would they be and why?
VW: ‘I’ve been back and forth with this one quite a lot, to say the least! So I’ve whittled it down to five…sort of. In the end I thought about what I’d like my guests to bring of themselves to the party. A good sense of humour would be paramount, followed by the art of good conversation and amusing anecdotes. I’m starting with Jessy Ware and her Mum Lenny, who host a food podcast called Table Manners. I would invite the two of them because they are very funny together and real foodies who cook some delicious sounding food that’s right up my street. I reckon if I get a bit stuck in the kitchen they will easily be able to step in help me overt any disasters. I’m kind of cheating a bit and saying Jessy and Lenny come as a pair, so they are my first choice. Next up I would choose Mary Portas, because I just think she is pretty great and comes across like a smart, well informed women. She would be a good all rounder perfect for a dinner party. Cathy Burke and Sharon Horgan would be my third and forth choices. They are both hilarious women and I think they would be good company and fun to have a drink with. My final choice would be Sandi Toksvig. I’ve listened to her on a couple of different podcasts and she has a really sunny disposition, razor sharp wit and fights the good fight on women’s rights.’
‘Maybe afterwards James Murphy from LCD Sound System would be allowed to gate crash, bringing with him his record collection to get the after dinner kitchen disco started with a bang. My husband is also very upset that he hasn’t made the list so if any of them drop out I said he can be on the reserves bench.’
CO: What do you think of Manchester’s art scene?
VW: ‘In the short time that I’ve lived in Manchester, I feel there is real sense of creative encouragement here in the city. I’ve found that the artistic community I have come into contact with, have been nothing short of welcoming and inclusive. I look forward to finding out more and meeting new people.’
CO: What’s next? Do you have any new projects, or any exhibitions coming up?
VW: ‘I’ve just finished a group show a couple of weeks ago and the next thing that my work will be popping up in is Battersea Art Fair in London in March and Salone del Mobile in Milan in April.’
CO: If you could live in any painting/artwork, which would it be?
VW: ‘I think I would like to live inside Anish Kapoor’s ‘The Farm sculpture’. It’s a huge sculpture sat in the New Zealand landscape. I’ve never been to New Zealand and I reckon from the height of the sculpture you would get great views of the surrounding New Zealand countryside. The piece is made of stretched fabric and I’m sure it would be great fun trampolining around inside it.’