Valerie Giles’s drawings engage us in an intimate, imagined world of assured line and fluid gesture, merging scientific inquiry and the natural world with surrealist and expressionist abstract art. Working on a subtly modulated monochromatic ground, the artist’s spontaneous skeins of curvilinear marks slide, skip and undulate across the page. Broadly based on her love of music – especially jazz – Giles transcribes its improvisation and immediacy into rhythmic, energetic lines. The work is also informed by a deep, abiding interest and study of the natural sciences. Her imagery derives from observation of nature’s processes in motion – repetition, patterns, fractals, entomology and other biological phenomena. The meticulously rendered graphite lines highlighted by bursts of color draw the viewer into Giles’s abundant visual vocabulary, oscillating between abstraction and buried allusion.
In certain works, Giles utilizes pigmented polyvinyl acetate to create slightly raised mounds of color. Her palette and forms are reminiscent of the '50s and its irrepressible visual culture – automobile design, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, furniture and fabric – that continues to delight and enthrall.
Giles was born in New York, NY and studied zoology at the College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, ME. She also attended the University of Connecticut, with a concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.