Artist Biography

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Chris Vervain - Biography




I trained in Fine Art at Hertfordshire University and was also privileged to have been a student of the English visionary artist, Cecil Collins. 

Cecil taught us the need to listen, to attend to the quiet voice within, the gentle  (and sometimes not so gentle) urging of the Universe.  He taught us the importance of respecting our artist's instruments be they brushes, pencils, ink, paper etc.  He introduced us to a series of studies that would enable us to find the right relationship with these and also to work on ourselves, because we are also instruments who need to open ourselves to the Creative Energy that it may flow through us and become manifest in the artistic image.


His mode of teaching involved movement of the body, often inspired by music of intense beauty, and an extensive study of the nature of the drawn line and the various qualities it can possess.  In his class students and model would all 'dance' until an appropriate held position was found and rapidly drawn.


This approach particularly suited me for I feel the need to dance emanating within my body and my visual art work tends to be highly graphic, a quality that appears in the variety of media I employ.  These include paint, print, drawing and various 3 dimensional forms.


The dance has also led me into Physical Theatre and masked drama, particularly the theatre of ancient Greece which I envisage as a mobile (rather than statuesque) form in which dance is an important element.  After gaining a Fine Art degree I felt guided to study at RADA and King's College London for an MA in Text and Performance Studies and then on to Royal Holloway to do a Phd on re-inventing the ancient tradition of masked Greek tragedy in today's theatre.  Since completing these academic studies I have directed productions of the ancient plays, creating masks and props; recruiting and directing professional actors.  My visual art work also reflects these interests.