Dominica Vaughan

Location: Warwickshire

Memories are stored in the mind and photographs are kept to remind us of people dear to us. They are looked at from time to time and then tucked away. The painting Mother (2019) although faded, remains, even the constant folding and unfolding cannot erase it.

The two paintings entitled Life I and Life II (2018) are an attempt to visualise inner sorrow. In the first one, a sober, isolated face lacking colour, vitality and lustre; locked in a state of silent contemplation within a wretched, ragged, confined space. The hair is set, there is no air to tossle those waves, all is rigid, still and fixed. In the second, there is a hint of movement suggested only by the hair although the eyes still betray a sense of longing, a patient hopefulness for a certain light to illuminate them by words of kindness, forgiveness and love.

During a period of my life, I was living in Paris. I painted a series of portraits depicting mostly French and English singers (Barbara, Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Jim Morrison, Joe Cocker, Marianne Faithfull, Serge Gainsbourg), actors (Gérard Depardieu, Béatrice Dalle, Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Jeanne Moreau, Isabelle Adjani, Vincent Cassel, Monica Bellucci) and writers (Colette, Françoise Sagan, Virginie Despentes) all of whom, I discovered and in some cases, rediscovered while I was there.
L'Offrande (2007) is the last painting I did in Paris. I was lucky enough to have a model pose for me with a shroud cocooning her seemingly chilled body and offering herself up. I have always been drawn to Bernini's sculpture The Ecstasy of St Theresa (1647-52) and the various interpretations of the artist's intentions. I had rediscovered a small study stored away in my studio which I had done in 2005. I had made layers of imprints of my palms using a progressively darker colour each time. The result of literally twisting the paint in the backgroung and over the palm imprints, produced the effect of a handful of rose petals scattering themselves at the viewer – like a poetic offering. I incoporated elements of this study into the painting.

The L'Intimité (2006) pen and ink drawings relate to the art of Tantric sex. I used the pointillist technique, tapping into the paper with the ink, like a sculptor taps into rock to create form, particularly in the case of ancient Indian erotic art.

The eight paintings of La Chambre Rouge (2005) were inspired by a Japanese erotic pillow book*. A series of minute intricate monochromatic erotic images carved into eight pieces of beautifully curved ivory. They are carefully linked together with string in order to roll them out 'to reveal' or roll them up 'to conceal'. I have magnified these images onto eight canvases. Each of these rich red paintings take on the appearance of a screen, each representing a warm, sensual scene of intimate erotic pleasure and delight.

The portrait series Le Grand Duc, Flaming June, Icarus, Le Carnaval and Femme aux Plumes were all produced in Paris, 2005. They depict people isolated and framed with a new identity in an imaginative background. I continued to use the process of applying paint in layers, 'pushing' and 'pulling' it over the surface plane then obliterating the image with a dark ground. Scraping back and dissolving this 'shroud' allowed the figure to re-emerge and harmoniously place itself in its infinite universe.

This work was preceded by the paintings entitled L'Esclavage (2004) - the first paintings I produced in Paris since I arrived there in 2003. These erotic images frame a female form obscured by an organic mesh that is in the process of decay. The environment is dark and claustrophobic with only glimpses of light, like a feeble torch searching for a missing person in the dark. There is a sense of menace and submission.
During the year (2002) before I decided to move to Paris, I produced a series of paintings and drawings entitled Beyond Skin. We are constantly in a process of change. When one is aware of feeling 'blocked' or 'trapped', that is the time when fundamental changes are taking place within us. One can deny what is happening or accept it by discarding the old skin and emerging ready to push oneself forward.

In 2000/1, I was working on the Resurrection Series. Experiences in life can 'bury' one for a time but there is always hope of regeneration and growth. If one feels 'half dead', then one is also 'half alive'.

In England (1999), I was a First Prize winner for the painting Untitled. This painting is of a brooding female form in the process of emerging to the surface of the canvas, her presence felt but her identity withheld. This led me immediately on to the paintings entitled Emergence (1999). The figure more evident, no longer consumed by its environment but freed from it.

In 1998/99, the Inner Rhythm was semi-abstract. I was experimenting with the idea of expressing the human emotional response to music. The body and mind consumed into a trance by the aural stimulation to music. The body and environment fusing into one.

At the beginning of my journey as an artist, I created large abstract paintings Freeing the Spirit. I wanted to express my interior landscape through vibrant colours and gestural markmaking

* Shunga scrolls from the 12th to the 18th centuries are the famous Japanese erotic pillow books and were comprised of illustrations as well as erotic poems, stories and legends


WARWICKSHIRE OPEN STUDIOS at Temperance, Leamington Spa, England 2019

TEMPERANCE CAFE ART EXHIBITION at Temperance, Leamington Spa, England 2019

ASSOCIATION OF MIDLAND ARTISTS (AMA) Parish Church, Leamington Spa, England 2019

LEAMINGTON SPA STUDIO ARTISTS (LSA) at Temperance, Leamington Spa, England 2019

LEAMINGTON SPA STUDIO ARTISTS (LSA) Annual Members Show, Leamington Spa, England 2018

UK ARTISTS Annual Show, Sutton Coldfield, England 2018

ASSOCIATION OF MIDLAND ARTISTS (AMA) Annual Show, Leamington Spa, England 2018

ARTISTS AT THE SHEEP DIP, Princethorpe, England 2018


UK ARTISTS ANNUAL EXHIBITION, Leamington Spa, England 2017

ART IN THE PARK Leamington Spa, England 2017

SLATE GALLERY Leamington Spa, England 2017

FLOOR ONE GALLERY Rugby, England. 2017

OLD MARKET GALLERY Rotherham, England 2017

LEAMINGTON SPA OPEN STUDIOS (show with photographer Ray Spence) England. 2015

GALLERY 150 (solo show) Leamington Spa, England. 2011

CAW The Old Gallery Leamington Spa, England. 2010

GALLERY 150 Leamington Spa, England. 2010

ART SALE EMPORIUM Stratford upon Avon, England. 2009

THE GALLERY Les éditions parisiennes (permanent exhibition), Paris. 2006-2009

L'EPSILON Brasserie, Paris. 2006

LE BISTROT DES ARTISTES (solo show) Paris. 2005

CHEZ RICHARD (solo show) Paris. 2005

CLAIR DE PAGE LIBRAIRE GALERIE (solo show) Paris. 2004/5

GALERIE ART MONTI (solo show) Paris. 2004

GALERIE ETIENNE CAUSANS (solo show) Paris. 2004

GALERIE MAILLETZ (solo show) Paris. 2004

GALERIES ARTITUDE (solo show) Paris. 2004

THE ART SHOW, London. 2000

DORJES (solo show) Leamington Spa, England. 2000

THE GALLERY, University of Warwick, England. 2000, 2001, 2002

ART ON THE MOVE, Leamington Spa, England. 2001, 2002

ARTS AND HERITAGE, Warwick, England. 2001

THE ART SHOW London. 1997/2000

SOUTH TOWN GALLERY Leamington Spa, England. 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003

SHIMLA PINKS Birmingham, England. 1997

MEDA BUNKER GALLERY Leamington Spa, England. 1997, 1998, 1999