Adele Vye’s video work captures moments during her daily routines as an artist and mother. [...] However, at the same time her work reveals a deeper, internal dialogue, – fear, responsibility, guilt, how to deal with the climate crisis, what to do to protect your kids, how to make work, how to effect change and still hold everything together at home. The boundaries between real and imagined are dissolving in her often dream-like work. As always in her practice, there is humour too as the washing machine becomes a swirling portal to another world, a cataclysmic tornado ripping down houses and communities, causing the world to collapse in on itself.
Karen Mackinnon, Exhibitions Curator, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, extract from Household Name exhibition catalogue, 2020
...Adele Vye, (is) absorbed in the intrigue and concerns of nature... Her practice is one of contemplative protest, and the viewer is invited to observe her 'intuitive explorations'. Vye's method leans towards the performative. That is, she will often put herself literally and physically in the work, engaging, as it were, her body and its effects as material. A good deal of Vye's work can be immediate in response to a given issue, utilising her body in a series of gestures. These expressions are documented via a photograph or video. But these are also offset by working with organic materials, recently fleece, for instance. Anything and everything has potential, as she states: 'Material to me can be anything, from a thought or a notion to a thing, a being or a place'... (Adele's) work is concerned with why things are the way they are, and prompts a timely reflection and reassessment of the familiar.
Tim Davies, Artist and Curator, March 2010
Vye's work might appear humorous and tragic on the surface, but the use of cloaks and other 'instruments' demonstrate a practice which references mythology, environmental issues and the summoning of energy.
Owen Griffiths for Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown, February 2010
My work aims to make images which ask timely questions. I am drawn to industry, myth and nature. My fascination with the contrasting ideas of the domestic and public, urban and rural, magic and mundane are frequently at play. A work is often initiated by a problem which has arisen in my creative process, which then allows a need to emerge.
The documentation of an action becomes the work. I record what happens sometimes through photographs, but mostly on video. The films usually take the format of single take, unedited documentation, shot from one perspective.
My work tends to be site specific, as well as taking time of day or atmospheric conditions to be intrinsic to the context. I often work at night being drawn to transitional and liminal spaces, also things in flux or transforming. Changing climate, and our relationship and impact upon the environment, are recurring themes and cut through my work consistently. There is frequently a discourse between the physical act and some element which is invisible or unseen.
In my broader practice I create or happen upon objects, tools and materials which become utilised and instrumental in the actions. I am interested in their potential as 'Instruments' and their imbued and implied properties. These include cloaks made from old wool blankets, sheeps fleece and felt, copper bowls, shopping trollies, a dressing gown and an old hoover.
Most recently my concerns have turned to the changing weather in a new series of works entitled ‘attempts above and below sea level’, which along with other levels of reference was a response to the feeling of being underwater even when on land.
In The Steel Works Series we witness the felt cloaked artist in 'dialogue' with the South Wales Port Talbot Steel Plant where she partakes in a series of solitary actions, where we observe the artist wail, scream and fall in and around the site
In the award winning On Wasting Energy the artist plugs a vacuum cleaner into the ground and attempts to Hoover the cleared land above the LNG gas pipeline running through Wales
In the award winning Nightshift: movements 1-8 the corridors and hallways of an educational institution are the setting for the nocturnal search for ones place, where by the artist becomes a living myth by struggling to push, manoeuvre and shift a large black cupboard around the university building at night where and in which she had slept shrouded in rumour for just over 1 year.
CV & Education
BA Honors Fine Art, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, 2005
Prizes and awards
Welsh Artist of the Year 2009, Time Based Media
John Brookes Memorial Prize for Fine Art, Oxford 2005
Artist in Residence, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Wales 2009
Expedition no. 3, Art IG Showrooms, Hannover, Germany 2006
Virtual exhibition at https://seekbeak.com/v/RlzoBYkN12M , Houeshold Name, with Laura Ford, Cherry Pickles, Zoë Gingell, Zena Blackwell, Adele Vye, Fern Thomas and Raji Salan, curated by Contemporary Cymru and supported by Arts Council Wales and Arts Council England, 2021
Household Name, Elysium Artspace Swansea, 2020
Household Name, The Bomb Factory, London, 2020 (cancelled due to covid 19)
Body, Land, Place, Plas Glyn Y Weddw, curated by Simon Whitehead, 2019
Y Lle Celf, National Eisteddfod of Wales, Senedd, Cardiff 2018
Ephemeral Coast alongside These Waters Have Stories To Tell, Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea 2018
Situation/Material/Ocean, The […] space, Mission Gallery 2017 www.ephemeralcoast.com
The Book Project, The reading Rooms, ALEX building Swansea, For Glynn Vivian off-site 2016
Welcome to Tata Land, British Legion Club, Port Talbot, South Wales 2016
Programme of films on Land, John Andrews Space, Plas Glyn-y-Weddw, North Wales 2015
Ffilm 2, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea 2011
Coedwig (Forest), Oriel Myrddin, Carmarthen 2011
Artemisia, St Davids Hall, Cardiff, Uk 2011
Ground: Adele Vye and Olivia Williams, Curated by Tim Davies, Oriel Lliw Gallery, Pontadawe Arts Centre, Swansea 2010
Test Bed, Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown 2010
Artists from Swansea Studios, Swansea Museum, Swansea 2010
Mission Photography Open, Mission Gallery, Swansea 2010
Women Centre Stage, Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea 2010
Catalyst, The Old Tannery, MOMA Wales, Machynlleth 2009
Zen Garden (FAO), National Theatre Wales 2009
Cosmic Distance Ladder, St Davids Hall, Cardiff 2009
A Collection of Drawings, Mission Gallery, Swansea, Wales 2008
Crash Worship, Tactile Bosch, Cardiff, Wales 2008
Excavations; Artists Responses to the Gas Pipeline, Oriel LLiw Gallery, Pontadawe Arts Centre 2008
Obsessions, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK 2008
Live Performance at Dylan Thomas fringe festival launch, Elysium Art Space, Swansea 2007
Annexe - an exhibition of work not selected for the Eisteddfod, Tactile Bosch, Cardiff 2008
Experimentica, Live performance at G39 in association with Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, UK 2008
London Artist Book Fair, I.C.A, London Curated projects 2005
2010 - The Book Project- In Conversation with Karen Mackinnon, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery , Swansea
2009- Public Artist Talk, FAO, Aberystwyth Arts Centre
Collaborations and social works
Founder member of Supersaurus, Swansea based collaborative pop up and DIY studio group circa 2010-2013
Founder member of FAO (collaborations between Fern Thomas, Adele Vye, Owen Griffiths) circa 2005-2010
Founder member of Framework, a live art, participatory action and socially based artist collective in Swansea. Best known for the 'Famework Social', a monthly night of live art, performance, participatory work, installation, projection, animation, sound work, spoken word, buffet and bingo at the St James Social Club. Other projects of note include 'Annexe: work not selected for the National Eisteddfod', tactileBOSCH, 2008 and 'Art's Birthday: a week long celebration in Swansea', January 2009. circa 2006-2010
Teaching and Technician work
Dylan Thomas Dialogues project Printmaking Technician, Swansea Print Workshop, 2013
Printmaking Technician, Lifelong Learning based at Swansea Met, 2010-2011
Mixed media Tutor, Lifelong Learning, Swansea College and in the community
Drawing and Painting Tutor, Lifelong Learning, Swansea College and in the community
Printmaking workshop Leader and Assistant (various), Swansea Print Workshop
Artist in residence in schools across swansea for Ever Changing Swansea project, Swansea Print Workshop
Various Art Workshop leader, 2005-2011