At the heart of Virginia Ray’s artistic practice is a belief in the importance of landscape in reflecting the evolution of nature and an expression of cultural identity and self. Virginia’s work ranges from vast landscapes to intimate studies using a range of materials on canvas including mixed media and natural materials from the land.
Born and raised in Nidderdale, Yorkshire, where her family have lived and worked for generations, Virginia has developed a strong understanding of the history of landscape and its’ rural and industrial stories.
Virginia’s process begins with observation and research developed with imagination and personal memories. Referencing family photographs and incorporating materials gathered from the land. She creates an interwoven layering of local history, personal identity, experience and memory. Her work relates to the use of the land, and vanished communities such as the monks of Fountains Abbey who remain so much a part the area’s history. Her creative process is one of building layers, scratching, erasing and then rebuilding, with multi layered surfaces of paint and mixed media. She often incorporates soil, minerals and vegetation into her work. Her lyrical works with their subtle palette are an expression of mood and emotion rooted in the landscape.
Virginia has a BA Hons in History, a PGCE and a MA in Fine Art from UCA Farnham. Her work has been exhibited in Surrey, Norfolk, London, Yorkshire and Ibiza. Virginia also works as a freelance artist with the Watts Gallery in Compton, Guildford as part of their outreach programme.