Griffith alumnus makes a splash at international art fair

Griffith fine art alumnus Victoria Reichelt.

Queensland College of Art alumnus Victoria Reichelt has made waves on the international art scene, showcasing her work for the second time at Art Basel Hong Kong, one of the world’s most prestigious art fairs.

“I have been very lucky that This is No Fantasy, the gallery who took my work to Art Basel Hong Kong, have had enough faith in me to take me two years in a row,” she said.

“Showing at Art Basel Hong Kong is definitely a career highlight. I went over last year and meeting all the other artists and galleries was a pretty great experience.”

Victoria Reichelt, Take Away Horror, 2018, oil on linen. Courtesy of This Is No Fantasy & Australian Art Collector Art Basel Hong Kong Special Edition

Victoria’s hyper-realistic, finely crafted paintings made the cover of Art Collector magazine, where she was lauded as one of the most exciting artists to represent Australia at Art Basel.

“It meant a lot, as the work I made for this year’s show was a bit different for me,” she said.

“The work that was on the cover of Art Collector was a painting of a pile of take-away containers – part of a body of work highlighting the omnipresence of these environmentally destructive objects.

“I have only quite recently been making works related to the environment so it was great for it to be received so well.

“It’s such a cliché, but having kids has made me think about these issues more. It’s just incredibly frustrating that climate change isn’t higher up on many politicians agendas.”

Victoria, who won the prestigious Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2013, is known for her high fidelity paintings that blur the line between art and reality.

Victoria Reichelt, Plastic Horror, 2018, oil on linen. Courtesy of This is No Fantasy.

“I’ve always painted this way with varying degrees of success — especially in the early days!” she said.

“It’s very challenging and time consuming but ultimately very rewarding.

“There is something about the labour intensive process that makes people looks twice at the finished product, and hopefully engage with what it is trying to do conceptually.”

Victoria completed a Bachelor of Fine Art and a Doctorate at the QCA, and credits her time at Griffith with helping shape her as an artist.

“My time at QCA was integral to my growth as an artist,” she said.

“The focus on practical work and its theoretical underpinnings gave me a great understanding of how to formulate and make a body of work.

“I had some great teachers, including Donna Marcus, Rosemary Hawker and Bruce Reynolds, who helped me figure out what I wanted to make and what kind of artist I wanted to be.”

These days, Victoria juggles a thriving artistic practice with the demands of motherhood, and she recommends that aspiring artists surround themselves with a strong support network.

“Since having kids, I’ve had to change the way I go about making work,” she said.

“Time management has now become a massive issue, so I’ve had to alter my day-to-day practice of painting and how long I need to make a body of work. It has been a bit tricky but I think I am getting there!

“As an artist, it’s important to get some good mentors and friends who inspire and understand you.

“Being an artist can be quite a lonely profession so it’s important to have a solid network of people who you can bounce ideas around with and who can share the highs and the lows with.”