Vivien Sabel North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
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My works are spontaneous reactions to or feeling-ignited responses to life. Works are completed without caution and in support of liberating the embodied, relocating it externally and re-energising it to life through art. My approach to creativity is unashamed, forthright, and free. Working with vibrant colours, and texture brings immense pleasure.

I am a Yorkshire based artist working from my home studio in Staveley, primarily working with acrylics though my practice involves wire sculpture, award-winning short filmmaking, installation, design and social impact art. I love to work with bold colours and texture to create art that looks and feels compelling.

Currently working on a design and social impact piece with a multi-million pound company to highlight the importance of mental health. The art work produced will be sitting on a product on a supermarket shelf near you in October 2022.

As a result of living with, and working in the deaf community, words and speech are experienced as secondary forms of communication. It is the body and expressions of the somatic that breathe life into language. Painting (and creating) for me are languages of the somatic. I instinctively rely on visuality, as it is louder than words and it speaks volumes; words oftentimes seem less meaningful. My second language is British Sign Language (BSL) and I would love to see more deaf/disabled people and CODA's represented in the world of art. As a Child of a Deaf Adult (CODA - my mother is profoundly deaf) the desire to embrace difference is embodied in life as it is in art. As a Neurodiverse woman, with a deaf cultural background, I love directness and openness in language, creativity and in life.

My art works have been featured in numerous national/ international shows where they have been awarded, several semi-finalist places, 15 finalist places and 1 ‘Best in Show’.

In addition to painting, and also during lockdown, the horror-fuelled murder of George Floyd struck me like a body blow. It shook me to the core and in an attempt to process this, I began searching for words to express some of my feelings. Although poetry poured out of me, this form of creative expression did not satiate. I managed to write a poem that I edited, produced, and directed into a short film (something I’d never done before). Employing and working with a deaf actress, we interpreted the written poem into a powerful, emotive, artistic, short film using a combination of British Sign Language (BSL), Visual Vernacular (VV). Writing allowed me to somatically respond to this hideous murder, but words alone didn’t seem enough to express the depth of feeling. This visually creative project; a short, artistic, film has been officially selected for 6 international film awards, where it has been shortlisted, a finalist and was a semi-finalist with Deaffest Film and TV Gala Awards 2022, where the actress won, 'Best Actress' for her stunning performance. It can be viewed on YouTube (Lost, Taken, Murdered) but be warned, it is hard-hitting and emotive.

Last year I applied to work on a Leeds-based art installation project, although I have no experience, my proposal came in 2nd place. This was an exciting opportunity. The success of my application, the positive feedback and being so close to securing the project, has inspired me to consider more in relation to art installation.

In an attempt to explore sculpting, I created a pair of giant hands using fine wire. The hands for me mean so much. They are a celebration of the importance of British Sign Language (BSL) and all signed languages, and they represent the power of language. The imagery of the giant hands serves also as a reminder of those in power and the dominance held at the tips of their fingers and therefore, the powerlessness of the masses. In my day job I am a senior lecturer, researcher, author and doctor of psychotherapy, who holds a belief that creativity is key to health and wellbeing.


Hands , Wire, 2021-2022


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