Venetia is a London-based artist who trained at The Charles Cecile School in Florence, followed by The Leith School in Edinburgh and then completed her post-grad at The Royal Drawing School, London. An accomplished oil painter and portrait artist, she also creates work that is whimsical and dream-like. With a particular interest in the female nude, her languid forms drift across the page or canvas like apparitions or puffs of smoke. She paints the figure through an abstracted lens, simplifying the form using pure line, or reduced mark-making.
Oil on canvas
Venetia’s abstract female nudes are painted with the intention of celebrating the female body in all its shapes and sizes, as well as to flip art history (dominated by male artists objectifying the female body) on its head. Venetia’s work seeks to reclaim the female nude from male predecessors who painted it as an object of desire, instead simplifying the sinuous curves into abstracted lines and colour blocks which speak as much of a feeling of womanhood, as the anatomy. Venetia’s portraits are not specific depictions of a sitter, but instead embody “the every-woman” - with the hope that her pictures are inclusive and relatable to many women.
Venetia said in a recent interview with Elle UK:
“I want people to look at my artworks and feel good about themselves, thinking twice about criticising their bodies. My work may appear playful and light-hearted on the outside, but it is very important to me to consider a deeper level of thought when it comes to body image.
Mental health and the discussion around it is an essential piece of the jigsaw when it comes to my work. Throughout modern society we spend far too much of our limited time on this planet thinking about how we look and what we think we should look like, according to society’s ideals.
It is very important to me to help shine a light on this as so many suffer and the conversation surrounding it is only just beginning.”
“When I was painting ‘Jade’ I wanted to point towards the discussion of mental health, in particular with women and their bodies. I love the connotations that colours can have with mood. With this in mind I used a bluer palette, hoping to reflect the sombre and ever relevant issue of mental health.”
“Looking at my work now, you would probably assume that I lean towards a more pastel and pink palette. However, growing up I was a complete tomboy and I would never have been seen dead in something pink, something too ‘girly’. This has been completely turned on its head as I now aim to embrace the idea of femininity and womanhood. ‘Onyx’ reflects this notion and the celebration of the female form. It is also one of the few paintings I have used black in so far.”