In Conversation: Victoria Coleman
Victoria Coleman has had an unusual career. From working as a van driver to making props for Star Wars in Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, and from going solo with her own Knitwangling Productions to painting acrylic portraits of everything from pets to her alter-ego Veronica, she has often followed her instincts down new and unexpected paths. This interview, hosted by award-winning arts journalist and editor Polly Checkland Harding, tracks the span of Victoria’s career, her creative process, and her playful way of seeing the world. What was it like to work on the giant spider in Harry Potter? What’s the story behind the name ‘Knitwangling’? And how did a photograph by a French photographer lead to Victoria discovering her muse? This 45 minute talk, free to Manchester Art Fair ticket holders, revels in these questions – and celebrates the spontaneity that guides both Victoria’s art making and career choices.
Victoria Coleman now lives in the beautiful countryside of Shropshire working in her garden studio with two wire hair dachshunds and a Springer Spaniel for company. She is a huge dog devotee and being brought up with dachshunds and chickens it's no surprise that painting dogs is her passion.
Among her other passions is film so after completing a degree in 3d Design she started work as a prop maker in the TV and film industry, she has been fortunate enough to work on Star Wars, Gladiator, Harry Potter and Alice In Wonderland to name but a few.
Her industry career concluded with her painting sculptures of the hero characters for Disney's flag ship stores around the world. For a long time though Victoria had a yearning for a change of scenery, a place of her own to work in and creative freedom.
Consequently in 2014 she began making textile fabrications for the home which gave her the creative flexibility she desired, it was during this time she started painting the occasional pet portrait here and there. Eventually demand for portraits began to rise and she decided to pack away the sewing machine for good and focus on painting.
Today Victoria has taken her pet portraits to another level celebrating the beauty and humour of our furry friends with mostly acrylic paints, she also likes to experiment with oils and collage and handmade paper clay sculptures enjoying the freedom and versatility of different materials.
You can see her work in several galleries and publications, she sells to UK and international collectors and works on private commissions often the crazier the better. It's with tremendous gratitude for the likeminded people who enjoy her creations that she is 'almost living the dream!'