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Varda Caivano's Voice

Emotional abstract works that resist definition make up the artist's second solo show at the Victoria Miro Gallery

Varda Caivano works with form and texture. Using thick layers of paint she creates sometimes visceral and always emotional paintings. To try and describe these paintings seems trite when they speak such volumes themselves, each one expressing something so clearly different that to try and ascertain what makes them similar seems like a lost cause. Her second solo show at the Victoria Miro Gallery, Voice, opens next week and sees the artists heading further into abstraction. In an Art world where we see the boundaries of what may or may not be art or be intended to be art being constantly pushed to have an artist who is pushing the boundaries with the traditional medium of paint or something that has to be appreciated. We managed to get some time with the artist as she prepares for Voice. She also exhibits as part of The British Art Show 7 at the Hayward Gallery.

Dazed Digital: What was the starting point for Voice?
Varda Caivano: For me, its about the idea of voice as an abstract sound with tune, pitch and colour, filling space. A kind of presence that is material and inmate rial at the same time. ‘Voice’ is the title of the show, which is the continuation of my studio practice making paintings.

DD: It wasn't so long ago that certain voices were hailing the death of painting? How wrong they were.... As a young artist what drew you to it as a medium?
Varda Caivano: Painting is not only history, tradition, a language; it is also a resource, a technique. Because there are artists intrigued about it, it’s still happening. I have always painted from when I was very little, so it wasn’t really a choice, it was there all the time.

DD: What is your relationship with painting (if indeed you see things in that way)?
Varda Caivano: It’s complicated and fascinating.

DD: How do you think that changes as your work progresses?
Varda Caivano: It develops as an ongoing conversation that is driven by curiosity and restlessness, and even in satisfaction or frustration sometimes

DD: You have referred to your painting as operating as a bridge as being a transitional space. Would you say your paintings fill the gap between you and the world?
Varda Caivano: Well, because they are open-ended. The picture does not have narrative or figurative elements. Perhaps we could think that it is before or after the figurative element. The viewer then engages with the picture in their own way; the work has its own life, independent from me.

DD: Your work seems to have become increasingly abstract. Did you always see this as a natural progression?
Varda Caivano: Yes, probably.

DD: You are currently also showing as part of British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet as well as this, your second solo show, at Victoria Miro. Where do you see yourself going from here?
Varda Caivano: I was awarded a fellowship at the British School at Rome, so I’m going to be making paintings in one of the studios there for a few months.

Varda Caivano, February 1 - March 12, Victoria Miro, 16 Wharf Road, London N1 7RW