Patricia
Volk

United Kingdom
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education: 
1985-87 : Middlesex Polytechnic Foundation Course & Three-Dimensional Design
1987-89 : Bath College of Higher Education (Bath Spa University) (BA Ceramics)
awards(s): 
2007 : ING "Discerning Eye" Exhibition, Mall Gallery, London - Regional Winner
Shortlisted : 'Brian Mercer Bronze Casting Residency' Italy by the Royal British Society of Sculptors
exhibition(s): 
SOLO EXHIBITIONS :
2021 : "Construction", Pangolin London, (London, UK)
2020 : Henry Saywell, London
2019 & 2017 : Arundel Contemporary, Arundel
2018 : Kobi & Teal, Frome
2018 : Oink Gallery, Swindon
2017 : Chapel Arts, Cheltenham
2015 : William Benington Gallery Sculptural at Coombe Trenchard
2015 : Chapel Lane Gallery, Tunbridge Wells
2014 : The Art Room, Topsham, Devon
2014 : New Craftsman Gallery, St. Ives
1997 : Fine Arts, Bath
1997 : Bohun Gallery, Henley-on-Thames
1996 : The Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS (FROM 2018)
2021 : "Craving color", Pangolin London, (London, UK)
2020 & 2018: RWA Open, Bristol
Bath Schools of Art & Design, Bath Spa University, Alumni Show, Locksbrook Campus, Bath
Royal West of England Academy, (shortlisted Academician Candidates Show), Bristol
RWA Sculpture Open Exhibition, Bristol
Blackwater Gallery, Cardiff
Creative Wiltshire, A Celebration of Art, Salisbury Museum, Salisbury
Sheridan Russell Gallery, Various Art Fairs, London
2020, 2019 & 2018: Beukenhof Pheonix, Belgium
2020, 2019 & 2018: The Garden Gallery, Hampshire
2020, 2019 & 2018: Hannah Peschar Gallery, Surrey
2020, 2019 & 2018: Arundel Contemporary, Arundel, Sussex
2018 : Affordable Art Fair Brussels, Hampstead & Battersea
2018 : VJB Arts in the Atrium of 10 Gresham Street, London
2018 : Urchfont Manor, Wiltshire, ‘Art in the Garden’ organised by The Friends of the Garden
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS (UNTIL 2017)
2017 - 2011: Beukenhof Pheonix, Belgium (every year)
2017 - 2005: The Garden Gallery, Hampshire (every year)
2017 - 1990: Hannah Peschar Gallery, Surrey (every year)
2017: Arundel Contemporary, Arundel, Sussex
Cavaliero Finn, Dulwich & Somerset & Royal Society of Sculptors, London
The London Group Open, The Cello Factory, London
‘From Where I’m Standing’, Swindon Museum &Art Gallery
‘Discerning Eye Winners’ Exhibition, Temple Church, London
2016 & 2012: Doddington Hall & Gardens, Lincoln
2012 & 2016 : Tarpey Gallery, Derby
2014 & 2016 : Lemon Street Gallery, Withiel, Truro
2012, 2013 & 2015 : William Benington Gallery Sculptural at Coombe Trenchard
The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle: ‘Gravity’ (Special Exhibition)
Denise Yapp Contemporary Art, Monmouth
Bohun Gallery, Henley on Thames (Regular exhibitor)
2013 & 2011: Ceramic Art London
2017, 2013, 2011 & 2009: Quenington Sculpture Trust Fresh Air
2016, 2010, 2009, 2008 & 2007: RWA Open, Bristol
Sculpt Gallery, Essex
Rococo Gardens, Painswick (Commissioned Artist)
Shirley Crowther Fine Art
View Art Gallery, Bristol
2008 & 2006: Chichester Cathedral, Sculpture in Paradise
The Himalayan Garden & Sculpture Park, N.Yorkshire
[email protected] Royal British Society of Sculptors, London
The Martin Tinney Gallery, Cardiff
ING Discerning Eye* (*Specially Selected Artist)
Eye to Eye, Cork Street, London
The Scottish Gallery
COLLECTIONS :
Lord Carrington, Sir John Mortimer, Damon de Laszlo, Simon Relph CBE, Lady Osborne, Robert Race, Priory Hotel, Bath, British Consul, Ivory Coast, Anthony Horowitz, Mary Portas, Swindon Museum & Art Gallery
PUBLICATIONS :
50 Women Sculptors (Aurora Metro Publications)
Ceramic Review (feature Inspiration: Sculpture Vultures- Elaine Bolt - Issue 306)
MADE IN BED magazine an independently run publication produced by the students of Sotheby's Institute of Art
The FLUX Feview (Feature Article - Edition 3)
Artist Talk Magazine (feature article - issue 3)
Art Maze Mag (feature article – issue 1)
Ceramic Review (feature article - issue 282)
The New Age of Ceramics by Hannah Stouffer (Gingko Press Inc.)
Contemporary Ceramics ­International Perspective by Emmanuel Cooper (Thames & Hudson)
Ceramics for Garden and Landscapes ed. Karin Hessenberg (A&C Black, London, 2000).
Creative Ideas for Small Gardens by Anthony Paul (HarperCollins);
Classic Garden Features by David Stuart (Conran Octopus);
The Garden Sanctuary by Keith Mitchell (Hamlyn);
The Sculptor's Bible by John Plowman (KP Books);
The Sculpting Techniques Bible ed. Claire Waite Brown (Chartswell Books Inc).
Ceramic Design Course by Anthony Quinn (Barron's)
COMMISSIONS :
2019 : Commissioned to create a new on-screen ident for ITV as part of the prestigious ‘ITV Creates’ project
1999: Work selected as Southern Arts Prize by Beckett biographer James Knowlson (winner of Southern Arts Literary Award 1999, for his book, Damned to Fame: A Life of Samuel Beckett.)
1998: Audience and Muse, Brewhouse Art Centre, Taunton
1997: The Water Deities, ArtSway, Sway, Hampshire (garden designer: Cleve West)
Patricia
Volk
opened up her studio to us. Watch the video of our visit to learn more about the artist's approach.
about: 

British artist Patricia Volk presents highly original abstract sculptures which are the result of a combination of form and colour, guided by her intuition. The juxtaposition of contrasts, balances and harmonies of the contemporary sculptor's colourful ceramic sculptures reflect, in her mind, the very relationships between human beings. 

The dream of being an artist and the beginnings of figuration 

Patricia Volk currently lives and works near Trowbridge in the county of Wiltshire, England. Hailing from Belfast, Northern Ireland, she wanted to be an artist since she was a child. She suffered from dyslexia as a youngster and had difficulty expressing herself in words, but was instead obsessed with drawing, from which she drew her confidence. However, a career as an artist was something not considered possible during her schooling and her desire remained merely a dream for many years. 

Settled in England, Patricia was employed in various positions and ended up working in an advertising agency. One night, after not drawing or painting for fifteen years, she started to draw again. Looking to make a life change, she was accepted to Middlesex University where she studied three-dimensional drawing, and completed her training with a ceramic course at Bath Spa University. Once she had graduated and finally embarked upon the artistic career she so aspired to, the artist was able to start experimenting freely with her favourite material, clay, to create colourful contemporary sculptures.  

At the beginning her work was figurative, consisting of symbolic and asexual heads with several reference points and inspirations, both ancient and modern, such as Catholic and art history icons, the Celtic sculptural tradition and the work of Giacometti and Modigliani. Over the years, however, Patricia began to feel more and more constrained by figuration and the representational dimension that imposed meaning on her sculptures. She tells the story of her passage to abstraction: “I decided to completely simplify the forms down to see if it was still “me”. I found that it was, and this opened an exciting way forward.”

Colourful painted ceramic sculptures and the search for the perfect line 

Patricia's abstract work is born from the unique combination of two elements, namely form and colour. Regarding the first, the artist aims to find a simple, pleasant, and dynamic form; the simplicity of the line is for her “a curve that might be so right that it takes your breath away, something that’s almost like a musical note in the air”. She begins her creative process by cutting different pieces of clay, in search of that perfect line and without any preconceived idea of the final piece. She then fires and assembles them, with glue or by drilling them on a structure. Patricia finds the construction of the piece very fascinating - her father was a builder - and is one of the reasons why clay has become her preferred material. 

Once constructed, the sculptures are coloured with acrylic paint, and finished with a matt lacquer. Patricia's work thus departs considerably from the British tradition, in which ceramic sculptures were generally glazed, and is rather inspired by the American tradition of painted 'painted fired clay', a term used by the sculptor Ken Price. Patricia sees the colours as emphasising the form, they are capable of making the piece light, almost floating, contrasting with the weight of the clay. The artist spends a considerable amount of time choosing colours; she combines them in a visual and very subjective way, trusting her intuition and drawing inspiration from the combinations she sees in everyday life. 

Patricia Volk's colourful sculptures reflect her personality, but each is an interesting new challenge for her in a quest for constant renewal. The interpretation is left free and open, although the juxtaposition of their simple yet powerful shapes and vibrant colours suggests different ideas to the viewers, such as tranquillity, conflict or even the sense of movement. 

Recognition of the art world 

Since 2008, Patricia Volk has exhibited her colourful sculptures in galleries and museums in the United Kingdom. Her artworks feature in private collections, such as that of the writer Anthony Horowitz and that of the politician Lord Carrington, as well as public collections, such as the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery. Her work has been featured in numerous publications and in 2020 it was included in the book "50 Women Sculptors", alongside very famous artists like Camille Claudel, Barbara Hepworth, Niki de Saint Phalle and Louise Bourgeois. The artist is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Sculptors (FRSS), and an Academician of the Royal West of England Academy (RWA).