Victoria Kent Gray is an artist and practice-led researcher, and has presented work nationally and internationally throughout the UK, Europe, USA and Canada. With an initial conservatoire training in dance and somatic practice (1998 - 2004), her primary medium and material is the body. Since 2005, her work has expanded to include actions, interventions, time-based sculpture and video, being presented in museums, galleries, and festivals in performance art, fine art and, choreographic contexts. Since 2011, she has drawn on Body-Mind Centering as a methodology for performing the body inside-out; in this sense, the works have become “performed somatizations.” Recent presentations include; FADO Performance Art Centre (Toronto, Canada), VIVA Art Action (Montréal, Canada), 5th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art (Greece), The Tetley Centre for Contemporary Art & Learning (Leeds), Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Wakefield), Baltic 39 (Newcastle Upon Tyne), Royal Museums Greenwich (London), Siobhan Davies Studios (London), 8th Biennial of Photography (Poznan, Poland), Grace Exhibition Space (New York), and, Centre de Cultura de Dones Francesca Bonnemaison (Barcelona).
Often durational, the performance's utilise slowness and stillness, in conjunction with performing unsighted, bringing a cellular-attention to kinesthetic sensations. The work aims to bring dormant psychosomatic / traumatic memory to consciousness, specifically, that which subsists at the sentient level of the bones, muscles, organs, fluids, glands and nerves. Through a Body-Mind Centering approach, this cellular-attention aims to disturb “common-sense” hierarchies of sensory organisation, activating the political potential of a body that is intimately attuned to affective experience. Each work is highly contingent upon the audience's particular presence and the specificities of each performance space. In this sense, like time and the body, affect becomes a material in performance, it is “shaped” moment-by-moment in an immediate exchange between performer, audience and site.
In addition to a performance practice, her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, and edited books in the fields of performance, affect theory and, choreography. Most recently, she has contributed articles to the journals, The Drama Review, (MIT Press, 2015); Choreographic Practices, (Intellect, 2013), and, Journal of Dance & Somatic Practice, (Intellect, 2012); and, chapters in the edited books, Kinesthetic Empathy in Creative & Cultural Practices, (2012, Intellect) and, Experiencing Liveness in Contemporary Performance, (Routledge, 2016). In addition, her research has been presented at international conferences, most recently; PSi #19 Now Then: Performance & Temporality, Stanford University California, USA and TaPRA, Embodied Engagement: Participatory And Immersive Performance, The University of Glasgow & The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, UK; and, Sound :: Gender :: Feminism :: Activism Conference, Centre for Research into Sound Arts Practice, London College of Communication, University of the Arts, London.
Through her practice-led research, she is often invited to guest lecture in performance and fine art subjects in universities in the UK. Since 2004, she has been teaching in Further and Higher Education contexts, most recently she held the post of Senior Lecturer in Performance at York St John University. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).
Currently she is a PhD candidate at Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts, London. Her thesis titled, 'Towards a Kinesthetic Universe: Somatic methodologies for analysing affective experience', integrates affect studies, process philosophy, political theory, and somatics.
Her practice extends to the action of artist-led organisation, in particular she is committed to developing practice, discourse and education of performance art in the UK. Alongside artist Nathan Walker, she is Director of Oui Performance, (Founded 2010, York, UK), an artist-led organisation dedicated to research and presentation of performance art both in the UK and internationally.