Valda Bailey (b.1958) is a British artist and photographer. Her work is greatly informed by her background in painting and influences come as much from artists as photographers. Her intention is less about portraying a literal representation but rather conveying feelings evoked by the landscape and she achieves this using various techniques to blur detail and abstract shapes.
"I am primarily driven by an exploration of colour and form. My objective is to bring an emotional element and aesthetic balance to my work. I try to depict the subtleties of the landscape and am happiest making images from the smallest, most insignificant detail - the challenge being to portray the essence of what is about my subject matter that has taken my eye. (...) I have been influenced by many great talents; some of my inspirations include Jay Maisel. Also, Raphael Shevelev, Chris Friel, Rob Hudson, Paul Kenny, Dough Chinnery, Fay Godwin, Ernst Haas, Aaron Siskind, Andre Kertesz, Vivian Maier, Sarah Moon, Arnold Newman, Klavdij Sluban, Alexey Titarenko, Charlie Waite to name just a few. Painters whose work I particularly admire include Bonnard, Cezanne, Chagall, Diebenkorn, Kandinsky, Klee, Matisse, Rothko, Picasso, Van Gogh, Frankenthaler and many others." - Valda Bailey
Valda's Southern Song series is part of a larger project that attempts to explore the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi. One of many dictionary definitions defines it, as "a way of living that focuses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay." This doesn't even begin to unravel its complexities; indeed, so intangible are its philosophies that many Japanese scholars will only attempt to illuminate its mysteries through the medium of poetry.
All works are small edition, printed onto museum glass. Each work is individually hand finished by the artist with gold, silver or copper leaf giving the piece its own unique style.
Valda Bailey's work has been featured in national and international publications. She has exhibited widely in the UK and in 2015 was the first woman to be invited to join six other photographers to exhibit at the biennial Masters of Vision at Southwell Minster. She has been awarded a direct Fellowship by the Royal Photographic Society in January 2020.
Her work is held in numerous private art and photography collections.