Hello,  I’m Valerie Oliver. I am originally from Philadelphia, PA living in the UK. I practice conceptual art, producing installations using video amongst mixed media materials which are significant to an idea. Use of photography becomes part of the documented work.  Most of my work is site-specific. My process encompasses a variety of subjects, which displacement and space are key elements. The intention behind the work allows the viewer to engage in private thoughts in public places. Enabling viewers to think of their existence and question their actions within their own social structure.

My art career consists of combining my practice with working in various educational and community institutions including managing and leading socially inclusion community partnership funded projects with diverse groups. The experience of working out in the community has introduced me to challenging situations to which I have been able to use my range of skills as a conceptual artist including my teaching skills that continue to evolve.

I hold a PhD in Creativity and Culture from the awarding body of Brunel University (2016). My thesis explored how and if using contemporary art education and practices can help to reintegrate marginalised youth and to raise their sense of self-efficacy. The framework of theory involving Sartre (2003), Foucault (1977), and Bandura (1994) informed the research activity in the action research undertaken. The research design involved selected research methods incorporating contemporary ‘art-based’ practices and case studies. At present, I have published two journal articles. Understanding historical changes in social and penal art programmes, in Journal Of Offender Rehabilitation, published by Taylor & Francis online. Empirical findings that established researchable context using visual arts to prepare marginalised youth for a positive future using mixed human inquiry methodologies, in Journal of Arts & Communities, published by Intellect Ltd.

I wanted to further enhance my higher education within the visual arts, which began in the US. I attended Winchester School of Art where I earned a BA (Hon’s) Visual Art (2004) and MA Fine Art by Project (2005). This is when I had undergone change within the way I worked and developed my theoretical context within my practice. My practice supports and interlinks my research interest which remains within the field of fine arts and the framework of the theory of ‘the self’, transcendence, responsibility, and self-efficacy. This provides an analysis towards the effectiveness of contemporary art practices as a valid tool (approach) in the contexts of education and its role in social exclusion environments. It includes the fine arts significance as a broader approach in core education settings and external organisations.

With regards to my research I am interested to develop further research into the key elements found present in the treatment of the participants in the action research project which were; 1) separation that is used as a function and  2) space that is used for placement.

If you have the time, I invite you to visit my blog, which discusses educational experiences. Under the heading exhibitions, you will find a highlighted selection of my artwork. Under the heading about, you will find my work experiences. You may contact me via email; valerie.oliver@btinternet.com. Thank you so much for visiting my website.