Training

My formal training has been a Foundation year in Leamington Spa, then much later, in my 30s, the Craft Materials course (HND equivalent) at Coventry Faculty of Art and Design. I intended to specialise in Jewellery – I come from a long line of jewellers. But Textiles was taught by the Head of the Art School, Pat Shenstone who was really inspiring. So, I specialised in textile art, in particular, Islamic patterns. I consider Pat Shenstone to be a big influence still – in terms of there being a story to my art, and it being pro-woman, often turning myths and iconography around (see Mozambican Chess series, and Women in Medicine).

Techniques

I constantly love to learn new techniques and would like to do more photography and film. Any poets out there who want to collaborate on a film - do get in touch. Currently, I mostly work in acrylics with mixed media elements – although occasionally I tackle the same subject in two or more media.
I’m fascinated by the synergy between different art forms, especially poetry and painting, hence the Poet in Exile series, and Buskers.

Influences and Inspiration

  • Reinata Sadimba Mozambican sculptor, see my portrait of her as Creator Queen in the Mozambican Chess series
  • John Piper – for his use of colour
  • Turner – my Websters Brickworks, Coventry is roughly the same place as his view of Coventry from the North West (1830). And I was inspired by his paintings of shipwrecks to do a search ‘Shipwreck Today’ which resulted in Shipwreck, the first of the 3 In the Mediterranean series.

Recent exhibitions

  • Virginia APGAR selected for ‘First 1001 Critical days’ at House of Commons, London June -July 2016
  • Summer 2016, Botley Arts at the Old Tattoo Parlour, Westway, In the Mediterranean series
  • May 2016, Group exhibition ‘Experiments with Light’, 4 Sufi Stories about Light (pictures and explanations)
  • Jan-March 2016 Nuffield Orthopaedic Hospital, with Alex Singleton and Malcolm Hayden-Smith
  • Dec 2015 – Feb 2016, P Café moving to Peace Hub, Birmingham Moving a Country painted in response to poem of the same name for ‘Displacement: Stories of Hope’ - View the film
  • May 2015 – Aug 2015, Botley Arts Inaugural Exhibition ( St. Peter & St.Paul’s Church, Westway, Botley, Oxford) Group exhibition, featuring In the Mediterranean series