Born in 1977, Vicky White studied Scientific and Natural History Illustration at the Blackpool and the Fylde School of Art before completing her master's degree at the Royal College of Art, London, in 2005. Her practice is informed first and foremost by a combination of early experiences gleaned whilst working alongside exotic, native and domestic animals and an ongoing interest in evolutionary theory and the representation of otherness - human and non-human - throughout history. Melding influences from a variety of sources - in particular, classical depictions of the human form in the cartoons and studies of the Old Masters, and works by nineteenth-century animalier sculptors and early photographers - with a commitment to realism, Vicky's work has been exhibited in London and New York and resides in private collections worldwide. She currently lives and works in Suffolk, England.
2005 - MA Communication Art and Design (Natural History Illustration), Royal College of Art, London
2003 - BA Scientific and Natural History Illustration, Blackpool and the Fylde School of Art, Lancashire
2007 - 'Djinns', Jonathan Cooper, Park Walk Gallery, London
2010 - 'Rare Beasts', Jonathan Cooper, Park Walk Gallery, London
2016 - Trophees & Curiosites, Desmet Gallery, Brussels (Curated by Jonathan F. Kugel)
2014 - Haughton International Fine Art and Antique Show, New York
2013 - 20/21 British Art Fair, London
- Masterpiece, London
2012 - LAPADA Art and Antiques Fair, London
2010 - Art Antiques London, Haughton's Fair, London
2008 - BADA Antiques and Fine Art Fair, London
- Watercolours and Drawings- Modern Works on Paper, London
2007 - BP Portrait Award, National Gallery, London
2006 - Olympia International Art and Antiques Fair, London
2005 - BADA Antiques and Fine Art Fair, London
2004 - 'A Dealer's Eye', Jonathan Cooper, Park Walk Gallery, London
2002 - Bologna Book Fair Illustrators' Exhibition, Bologna, Italy
2012 - Shortlisted for Kate Greenaway Award, 'Can We Save the Tiger'
2008 - Book Trust Big Picture Campaign; Best New Illustrators
- ASPCA Henry Bergh Illustration Award
2010 - 'Can We Save the Tiger?' (written by Martin Jenkins), Walker Books
2008 - 'Ape' (written by Martin Jenkins), Walker Books
I'll be the first to admit I have my biases: I'm confronted by them every time I come face to face with other animals. Regardless of the circumstances, there's always some point at which the encounter - for my part - gets scrambled by the notion that what I'm faced with isn't something I have any business expecting anything from, placing a value on or passing judgement over. What I'm left with is the afterimage of an equally self-interested individual whose existence seems to have as much (or as little) purpose as my own, a renewed awareness that, for better or worse, I'm 'just an animal' too, and the awkward realization that it's rude to stare.
This mismatch between the way we'd more often than not like other animals to be - readily compartmentalised and contained - and a messier, less convenient reality, along with my own growing scepticism of generalizations and the lines they enable us to draw between this species and that, natural and unnatural, and human and non-human, is what keeps me looking.
In the end I go with whatever I can't tear my eyes away from. But at the same time I can never quite shake the notion that the desire to see isn't the same thing as the right to see, that the subject of my curiosity is someone to whom my motives are redundant. So, however near or far she, he or it is from any mythical or taxonomic ideal, the specificity and actuality of whoever's stopped me in my tracks is half the point. Beyond that, what I'm interested in is the subtext: the underlying politics of anthropomorphism and anthropodenial, and the balance of power between the creature doing the looking and the creature being looked at.