Vanessa Gardiner is a landscape painter who lives and works in West Dorset. Working in acrylic paint on board, Vanessa is captivated both by the beauty of the places on which her work is based and by the processes involved during the making of the pictures.
Concentrating on the singular coastlines around Cornwall, Ireland and more recently Greece, I have become increasingly aware of the connecting elements found within these landscapes. A bursary awarded by the British School at Athens in 2009 to enhance my work from Greece has focused my interest in the geometry of architecture and its relationship with both the landscape and the visual language I use within my work.
The process of making the pictures is complex: I work on board which gives me the freedom to change the composition of a painting if necessary by cutting it down and not restricting the work to a prescribed format. Frequently I re-draw the image, scouring and sanding back the acrylic paint until the surface becomes abraded and enlivened, taking on a beautiful patina and revealing qualities of its own. It is this physical process, together with the rational ordering of the image in my mind which enthrals me – the linearity of the graphite with the rubbed paint surfaces and the unexpected results which may then occur.
Vanessa Gardiner was born in 1960 in Oxford where her father was a tutor of philosophy at Magdalen College. She did her Foundation year at Oxford Polytechnic and went on to study Fine Art at the Central School of Art and Design in London. At first she had to work in offices to earn her living and paint in every spare moment but in 1991 she had her first solo show with Duncan Campbell Gallery in London and has been able to concentrate on her painting fulltime ever since. In 2001 she joined the Hart Gallery and has had six major solo shows there. In 2008 she had her first solo show at Sladers Yard which very nearly sold out. Her work is in private collections around the world and in public collections including Exeter Hospital, Bournemouth University Collection, Carlow Collection Ireland, the Archive of the Ballinglen Arts Foundation Co. Mayo, Cowley Manor, Huddersfield Art Gallery, Fidelity International, New Hall Cambridge, Magdalen College Oxford, British Academy London and the British School at Athens. She lives in Charmouth, Dorset, with the painter Alex Lowery and their daughter Jessie.