The Art of Vali Myers
As a child at a bush school in the Australian outback, Vali neglected lessons preferring to draw in the back of exercise books visions from her imagination. Self-taught, her very personal technique evolved slowly over the years.
Vali’s drawings are created with the finest English pen nib (Gillott’s Crowquill 659) set onto a goosefeather for lightness of touch, and in carefully diluted black Chinese ink, burnt Sienna and Sepia, and the brushwork with Winsor & Newton watercolour. The gold leaf used for some of the backgrounds is heavy quality rolled-gold from R. Ventrella, a Neapolitan jeweller.
Each drawing takes anything from one month to a year or more to complete; she always works by night in her cage. The paper used is hand-made from one of the oldest existing papermills on the Amalfi Coast, Fernando Amatruda, founded in the Middle Ages.
Vali speaks about her affinity to the ancient illuminations of Irish monks and the carved prows of Viking boats, calling the spirit of her work “extreme barbaric Raffinatezza”.
— Vali Myers Drawings 1949-79
“I could draw and I could dance; everything else was a bloody drag.”
from the film “The Tightrope Dancer” by Ruth Cullen
Vali kept diaries throughout her life. There are 19 in total and they range from the mid 1950s to 2003 and all are an insight into Vali: her interests, her thoughts, her passions.
Each of them is a work of art in itself, with Vali’s exquisite intricate handwriting in between cut-out pictures, magazine clippings, photographs and sketches.
There are some excerpts of the diaries in the book ‘Night Flower The Art and Life of Vali Myers’ and the Vali Myers Art Gallery Trust hopes to publish the diaries in the future.