About Vivien

Vivien Elizabeth Armour is a multidisciplinary artist from Trinidad & Tobago. Over the last ten years Vivien has achieved degrees in Theatre from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, Film Production from New York Film Academy and Vancouver Film School, and most recently a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art & Design, majoring in Visual Arts with a minor in Social Practice and Community Engagement.

Having grown up in the Caribbean, Europe and North America, Vivien’s practice explores her relationship to her childhood home of Trinidad & Tobago and its complex multicultural history. In particular, Vivien is interested in the festivals, folklores, hybrid cultures, and how the history of slavery, indentured labour, and colonialism in the Caribbean are both critiqued and celebrated through a myriad of cultural expressions. In particular, the crossroads of Carnival that separates the modern, glamorous, hyper sexualized embodiment of jubilation and release or “Pretty Mas”, and the dark, rootsy, visceral “Traditional Mas” that take place simultaneously across the country and in the diasporas, and the core that connects them.

Vivien’s work investigates her feelings of displacement and cultural fracture and the relationships between culture, race and geopolitical influences on identity. Through the allegory of misanthropic fictional characters such as the “Jab Molassie”, “Blue Devils”, and “Douens”, Vivien situates her work in a sort of in-between world of belonging and not belonging, exploring notions of personhood, alien-ness, indigeneity, post-colonial trauma, cultural erasure, ethnic hybridity, bodily autonomy and sexuality. Vivien is fascinated with how all of these complex factors influence both personal and community expression and how the arts can be a tool for understanding alternative therapies in a complex, and ever expanding, interconnected world.

In her painting practice, Vivien employs the use of vibrant acid colours to reflect the energy and visceral nature of Carnival and the rituals of masquerade, dance and embodied catharsis. Her works invite the viewer to be immersed and overwhelmed with visual stimuli, incorporating a number of other textures, such as yarn, mud and spices to create a haptic and sensory experience. 

In her ceramic practice, Vivien explores the materiality of clay and the body through figurative representation, traditional firing methods and, in this particular collection, the way a lack of colour and glaze can highlight the raw beauty of the clay bodies, which then, juxtaposed with colourful displays, create conversation between the painting worlds and the grounded sculptures; existing not separate but of each other. 

Vivien will continue to push the boundaries of hybridizing ceramics, painting and installation as she moves back to the Caribbean to explore new techniques and materials and delve deeper into the research and community of these traditional and surreal spaces.

 

Works

Blue Boys Diptych, 2019, 72” x 48” (approx.)
Oil, acrylic, pastels, on raw canvas

Dutty Mass, 2019, 24″ X 36″
Oil, acrylic, turmeric, ceramic slip, on canvas

Dutty Mass, 2019, Detail

Studies, 2020, assorted
Acrylic, oil, pastels, ink, on paper

Blue Boys, 2019, 72″ x 96″ (approx.)
Oil, acrylic, madras curry, turmeric, yarn, thread, on raw canvas

Blue Boys, 2019, Detail

Devils & Douens, 2020, 6” – 25” (approx.)
Unglazed ceramic sculptures, terracotta and stoneware clay

Devils & Douens, 2020, 6” – 25” (approx.)
Unglazed ceramic sculptures, terracotta and stoneware clay

Devils & Douens, 2020, 6” – 25” (approx.)
Installation

Devils & Douens, 2020, 6” – 25” (approx.)
Installation

Wine An’ Fling It Up, 2018, 65” x 55”
Oil, acrylic, pastels, on raw canvas

Cyah Play Mas If Yuh Fraid Powdah, 2018, 72” x 60
Oil, acrylic, pastels, on raw canvas

Hol’ Man Down, 2019, 32” x 32”
Oil, acrylic, ink, on wood panel

Blue Devils, 2017, 48” x 60”
Oil and acrylic, on raw canvas

Bacchanal, 2017, 48” x 60”
Oil and acrylic, on raw canvas

 

Contact

Instagram: @vivien_e_art

Website: https://www.vivienelizabeth-art.com/

Email:  vivienelizabeth.art@gmail.com