Spotlight: Victoria Fenn

New table top sculpture for 2023
February 12, 2023
Crown III, 2023
Crown III, 2023
Coming from a farming family has given Victoria a unique insight into the landscape of the Fens. She sees agriculture, not only the machinery and hand tools used and adapted over the centuries, as components of the fenland landscape, crucial to the lives of inhabitants relying on this land to survive and prosper.
Having studied Three Dimensional Design specialising in silversmithing and metalwork at Camberwell College of Arts, and garden design at the Pickard School of Garden Design, she went on to become a successful garden designer. After moving from London to North Norfolk, Victoria has spent the last eight years building and renovating her 17th Century farmhouse. It was this period of exploring new materials, such as concrete and working with tools on a daily basis, that instigated the return to her practice.


 Plough, 2023

The simple forms of her work reflect the language of the landscape, the parallel lines of field structures, dykes, drains, hedges and tyre tracks. The form is derived from necessity rather than decoration. Often it pegs and slots together celebrating an honesty in the materials and holding tension within the piece. Using basic hand tools and silversmithing techniques Victoria's work narrates the story of her ties to this land.
Victoria's practice involves materials such as brass, copper and gilding metal juxtaposed against the dark hues of Fenland bog oak which dates from 3000 BC. Sometimes she will bury her work in soil from her fathers land to achieve a patination on the metal.


Tracks II, 2023
The nearby archaeological sites of Flag Fen and Must Farm have greatly influenced Victoria's work. Artefacts unearthed include pottery, beads and metalwork (swords, sickles and spears). She is captivated by the hidden treasures and evidence of past settlements – so much of it yet to be discovered.

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About the author

Paul Barratt, Director and Curator at Contemporary and Country

Paul Barratt

Paul Barratt started working in contemporary art galleries in 1989, having graduated in Fine Art from Goldmsith’s, London University. He initially worked at Anthony d’Offay Gallery, one of the contemporary art dealers, who dominated the London art market in the 80s and 90s. He was approached by the Lisson Gallery to be gallery manager for the influential art dealer Nicholas Logsdail. This was followed by a short period in New York at Gladstone Gallery, to work for visionary art dealer Barbara Gladstone, working with the artist and filmmaker Matthew Barney.


On his return to London, Paul secured a place on the postgraduate curatorial course at the Royal College of Art, to complete an MA. After graduation in 2001, he worked as an independent curator on several projects in Oslo, London, Brighton and Basel, before joining Paul Vater at his design agency Sugarfree in 2004. He has worked with Paul ever since.