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Art Watch : Valerie Hegarty

Valerie Hegarty is in focus for our Art Watch for today. This section is brought to you by Art From Us and Divvya Nirula. The Artists we spotlight here can be from any field, across any discipline, and using a variety of media. We share here why we think they are important and worth watching. Be it genius creators of eras gone by. Or the upcoming contemporary artist who is yet to have their first show. All come under the purview of Art Watch.

Valerie Hegarty’s unique creations showcase the cyclic nature of regeneration through degeneration. Her process and outcome are a testament to this universal cycle. She has spent a lot of time studying and recreating famous works of art from the past. Part of her Hegarty’s process involves “attacks” on these works – where her hand becomes the hand of nature. Taking these replicas she burns and cuts them, burying them and reducing them. Finally there is an examination of what remains.

“On a personal level I am exploring issues about aging, mortality, and impermanence which are concerns that are infused historically in still lives.” Explains the artist – as she speaks about her method which is an intrinsic part of herself,a nd by default an extension into her craft.

The question for her is not IF they survive, but HOW they survive, and finally what they become. Does their “original-ness” remain? Can it be regenerated through the degeneration of it?

Why Valerie Hegarty?

Valerie was born in Vermont, the beautiful state of autumnal colours but soon she moved to Chelmsford, Massachusetts. A very important aspect to understanding Valerie’s craft is that for her creation and art were not new concepts. Her mother she has shared would sew and her father would work on home improvements around the house. So growing up in an environment where she would learn, and gain first hand experience of what working in a studio was like. Of course this was something that she was naturally drawn to and immensely enjoyed.

Art was always a part of her – but in college she learnt that this was a formal way of life.   There was no way that Valerie was getting a straightjacketed job as a graphic artist, illustrator or designer – because the outcome was to be organic and not judged. This was a person who loves the process of creation itself. So Working from her own studio she developed her own style where she collected props and worked with whatever medium she wanted – with complete freedom she created.

“I have a strong work ethic in general, but my works can be labor intensive because I am a process-driven artist much of the time. I love working with material and experimenting in general. I think my overall process is a combination of playfulness and focus.” says Valerie.

Valerie Hegarty has expressed that she would like to explore more social and environmental issues and that part of her approach will be the use of historical artefacts. She has several interesting lines of thoughts that she would like to explore – like the personal and collective existence of memory, and how it is embedded in the process of recreation. And also while she is working with the serious – she is extremely humorous and it percolates into her work and her perceptions.


For more Artists handpicked by Divvya Nirula – explore the ART WATCH archive.

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