Val Denham, born 14 November 1957 in Yorkshire is the kind of artist you’d normally expect to learn about only after their passing, when crates of wonderful obsessively detailed artworks and diaries would be revealed Darger-like to an unsuspecting public. Because unlike the majority of her generation of UK artists, neither her interest (nor her talent!) is first and foremost in self-promotion but in the obsessive creation of her art, the expression of her uniquely personal vision, her obsessions, her manias, her struggles and her life-path. Formally trained at Bradford College and the Royal College of Art in London, she has been originally associated with that true counter-cultural revolution of the late 1970s and early 80s which came to be known as “industrial culture”, creating a lot of the visual hallmarks of that genre and releasing her first own musical efforts via the then thriving tape scene. Apart from creating richly detailed works which deal with personal themes like her OCD, gender dysphoria and transgender issues, she is also an accomplished portrait artist. Her style is easily identifiable even though she has never limited herself to one particular mode of expression only, she is equally versatile in life-like figurative art as in abstract forms. Two volumes of her art and thoughts have been published by Timeless Editions out of Toulouse in 2012 and 2015 respectively and met with wide approval. Apart from releasing her series of handmade CDs of music Val has also collaborated with various bands on her sound works.
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