About Val’s Work: By Amrita Rose “An UnStoppable Life“
Saying that Val Sivilli paints the ordinary might mislead one into thinking that her work itself is bland or drab. This is far from the case. Talking with her recently she said that she paints “everyday and mundane objects”, but this too is a red herring. What Sivilli does is very subtly expand our viewpoint on life by showing us new ways to consider how our view of the world is influenced by the everyday.
For example, in “Rebuilding The Closet #2, 2022. We are shown hammers, work pants, a tie hanging from a hook, clothes hangers, soft shoes…objects that in themselves aren’t surprising. But look more closely to the arrangement, the colours and the gestures of how Sivilli applies the paint and what you begin to see is her thought process- her opinion of the moment. The whole work becomes a meditation on the idea and the feel of work, not merely a depiction of the tools or physical elements involved in the project itself.
All of Sivilli’s work holds this same meditative quality. Her work invites us to consider how we are affected by simple elements. Whether it’s a hand tool like a hammer, pliers, or brushes, or more abstracted and repeating geometric shapes, simplified animals, or landscape elements, each work invites us into a deeper and more introspective dialog. When we allow ourselves to become involved, maybe even lose ourselves in the work- we find that we’ve come to rest in an interior world of provocative questions which lead to a deeper and more nuanced understanding of life as a whole.
ARTIST STATEMENT re: WORKING CLASS
By using hand tools in my paintings I am honoring the human, the working class and it’s system of signs, symbols, tools and structures bringing both the hand and the tool, the human and the work, into the hierarchy of art making.
Tools are used by the working class.
A tool itself is used by a human being.
Tools evoke physical labor.
A tool is held by a person’s hand.
Using it correctly requires knowledge of the use of that tool and a reason to use that tool. The physical body’s survival on this planet has depended upon the command of hand tools to build shelter, hunt prey, farm land, bury the dead, cook food, etc. As we devolve into virtual reality and watch as the distribution of wealth is diverted away from the working class, hand tools remind us of the reality that human survival depends on a keen grasp of the actual world and a love of real, hard physical work.
By using hand tools in her paintings, Val Sivilli is honoring the human, the working class and it’s system of signs, symbols, tools and structures bringing both the hand and the tool, the human and the work, into the hierarchy of art making. The physical body’s survival on this planet has depended upon hand tools to build shelter, hunt prey, farm land, bury dead, cook food, etc. Devolving into virtual reality, we watch as the distribution of wealth is diverted away from the working class. Human survival depends on a grasping the physical and a love for hard physical work.