veronica slater

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From caravans to 'castles', old to new worlds, Veronica Slater's work has explored the notion of 'home' and its sense of place.

"Consistent throughout the artist's practice is the idea of home; the emotional weight of its human construction as an intimate living, space and the ambiguity of place within and without. The artist's work also investigates the human baggage of seeing; the layers of fictions which we create in order to define who and where we are."
- Georgina Coburn

"Home is much more than shelter; home is our centre of gravity." - Jeannette Winterson

Our 'centre of gravity' is key to a balanced and healthy mind. When gravity is untethered, our balance descends into bedlam. Slater is producing a series of artworks that have emerged from encounters, with people and places, that hold 'charged' historical narratives.

After working within the context of a range of international residencies, Slater now confronts a residency of the 'self', to disseminate such experiences. In particular, the series thisHOUSE? which is a culmination of all the bodies of work that have explored the notion of 'home'.

"If the house is the self, what happens when the house is broken into and that core image of refuge perturbed?" - Cherry Smyth

thisHOUSE? is an attempt to re- remember 'the house' of a crime; a house which has stalked dreams and waking moments. thisHOUSE? is an icon that mutates and shifts forms, embellishing the experience of personal violation and lost innocence. It's a spectre that endures within a maelstrom of consciousness and dreamscapes.

The work is a memorial narrative of how trauma and pain has lived within a survivor.

In March 2022 thisHOUSE? was part of the exhibition Hidden in Plain Site at the Stephen Lawrence Gallery, Greenwich. Co-curated by the artist and Litza Jansz.

Below is an outline of work from the last ten years that continues to inform Slater's current practice. Whilst made in separate series, all the work connects in exploring a sense of identity, through place and purpose. It documents an inner visual diary that is influenced by the environment in which the artist finds herself. Being OUT, is always present whether on a remote island, off the west coast of Scotland, or in the anonymity of a city, the artist's sexuality, visible through a creative terrain that's constantly enquiring.

Soul identified as Flesh was the first painting in which Slater explored the lineage of LGBTQ+ identity and was shown in the ground breaking, touring exhibition Along the Lines of Resistance.

The painting features again in the major exhibition A Tall Order! at Touchstones Rochdale, and along with other work, comments on the major social and political events of the 1980's, made visible through the exhibition programming at Rochdale Art Gallery.

The recent series of paintings Soul ID 1-2-3 follows on from Soul identified as Flesh and explores the shifting nature of LGBTQ+ identities through the playful use of painterly language.

Slater's practice has developed radically in a range of projects that have opened up new areas of working.

CARAVAN a multi-media artwork, instigated this departure and was informed by her experience of living on the Isle of Mull. Caravans are a familiar iconic sight on Mull and CARAVAN represents this transient state as a creative process.

TRANSIT 24 Hour Tor Mor is a site-specific installation of paintings that led on from CARAVAN. The work is highly decorative and schematized with the intention of mutating their 'sense of place' through real and imagined spaces.

The context of shelter continues in the work Meidan Talo (Our House) an exhibition that resulted from a residency in Finland through the winter months of 2010. It was here that Slater worked on a series of montaged houses, sealed in a frozen wilderness, using tar and enamel. These images were viewed through a layer of stenciled domestic lace suggesting a homely refuge from the fears of the unknown. In making this observation the artist realised her own restless quest for a state of mind called 'home'.

Refuge and Privilege became the focus of Inch Kenneth: Home Movie, a film that tours the extrordinary house of Inch Kenneth, where Unity Mitford* once lived, off the west coast of Scotland. The film's visual narrative absorbs the pervasive atmoshere of an interior which evokes past and present lives. The spoken narratives depict the disturbing realities of Unity's facist obsession and the crossing of 'The Great Divide'.

*Unity Valkyrie Mitford (8 August 1914 – 28 May 1948) was one of six Mitford sisters Pamela, Deborah, Nancy, the writer. Diana who married the fascist Oswald Mosley and Jessica who eloped and became a communist.

The film is part of a larger body of work INCH KENNETH that came out of a residency with artist's collective 6°WEST, on the island of Inch Kenneth. It was a unique opportunity for the group to to explore the multiple histories, ecology and geology of the island.

The resulting 6°WEST exhibition INCH KENNETH toured on a creative pilgrimage from St Oran's chapel, Isle of Iona, to An Tobar, Isle of Mull, then to St Triduanna's chapel, Restalrig as part of Edinburgh Art Festival 2012 (see review) and finally to An Lanntair on the Isle of Lewis. See for further information on 6°WEST.

Veronica Slater was invited to be artist in residence at Stewart Hall (formerly Mull Hall) at Pointe St Claire in Montreal, Canada as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations. The residency used a project space to explore the cultural dialogues between the old and new worlds using The Isle of Mull as the key connection. Duchamp's model host – guest = ghost provided a springboard to excavate poignant spectres that are 'held' in the interior fictions of 'home'.

The artist also was part of the exhibition Multiple Histories-Distant Horizons which took place in July and August 2013.


Veronica completed her BA (Hons) in Fine Art Painting at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts and has an MAFA in Fine Art from the University of Northumbria.

Her work is in private and public collections including The National Library of Scotland (modern collections). She has been in prominent UK touring shows 'Along the Lines of Resistance' and 'The Borrowed lmage'. Slater has shown internationally including The Judith Anderson Gallery in Auckland, New Zealand and The RHA Gallery in Dublin, Somos in Berlin and the Tallinn 5th Drawing Triennial, Estonia.

Solo shows include Decorum & Dissent, Phoenix, Brighton, CARAVAN, Isle of Mull, Meidan Talo (Our House), Finland. Visions of Paradise, Oldham Art Gallery.

The touring show INCH KENNETH with 6°WEST was part of Edinburgh Art Festival 2012. In 2013 she exhibited in Montreal, Canada as part of Multiple Histories – Distant Horizons a 50th anniversary exhibition at Stewart Hall. More recently was part of the exhibition CARE in the Brighton Festival and Touchstones Rochdale’s exhibition A Tall Order!

Her work has been featured in two major books entitled Dammed Fine Art and Outlooks published by Cassell and Routledge respectively. Exhibition reviews have appeared in the Guardian, The Independent, Art Monthly, Textual Practice and Studio International.

Artist's Residences have included James Cook University of North Queensland, Australia, Vermont Studio Center, USA, KulttuuriKauppilla, Finland for which she received an individual Scottish Arts Council Award and INCH KENNETH, Scotland funded by Hi-Arts and Creative Scotland. Also Stewart Hall, Montreal, Canada jointly funded by Stewart Hall Foundation and Pointe Claire, Montreal.

She has taught Fine Art at various university colleges internationally and in the UK including a permanent post at The City Literary Institute in London. Other recent posts include The University of the Highlands & Islands and West Dene College of Arts & Conservation.

Slater also collaborated on Spent a film documenting artists working towards the last exhibition at The Three Colts Gallery, in the east end of London.

Inch Kenneth: Map Shadow (detail)
with Veronica Slater

(Photo by Shannon Tofts)

Studio and house - Tormor, Isle of Mull

Isle of Women and Iona from Tormor

Isle of Women and Iona from Tormor

Dolphins by the Isle of Women

Inch Kenneth residency

Inch Kenneth residency

(Photo by Shannon Tofts)