'Welter' deliberately exploits ambiguity; of language, form, and meaning. Welter - both verb and noun - is a slippery and tense concept, evoking imagery of a writhing, messy, distress. In contrast, the term ‘autism’ appears as a tidy linguistic and diagnostic tool. Beneath the surface, however, much like the language (both verbal and somatic) that Victoria has developed within her practice, this simplicity obscures the complex and diverse sensory encounters that autistic people experience.
Shape Arts - UK (2021)
Victoria is helping to further shape the discourse of what it is to be autistic in this present day, as well as providing a more nuanced manner of presenting the autistic spectrum than some other forms of representation in culture and media available to us.
Richard James Hall - Artist (2021)
Victoria is working in a critical area of practice with subtlety and skill. One of nine artists awarded an Artsadmin bursary from 300 applications last year, this is testament to the quality of her work and the integrity of her practice which runs through her making and performing. Gray is an artist who has always privileged process over product, exploring ideas with rigour and often, over long periods of time.
Nikki Tomlinson, Lead Artists’ Advisor and Producer, Artsadmin, Toynbee Studios, London, UK (2017)
Victoria is an important artist making significant work around challenging and complex issues.
Lois Keidan, Co-founder and Director of Live Art Development Agency, London, UK (2017)
I have been struck by the rigour, focus, integrity and courage of Victoria’s practice and approach to life/living, evidenced in her uncompromisingly intense, yet intimately tender work, Ballast (2015). I feel privileged to have witnessed how Victoria’s autism diagnosis has prompted a brave and radical re-evaluation of her performance practice (and life), through commitment to advocacy/interrogation of neurodiverse experience.
Emma Cocker, Associate Professor, Art & Design, Nottingham Trent University (2020)
The actions she performs - making use of the minimum of materials and focussing mostly on the use of body matter - balance on the borderline of performance and sculpture. Victoria Gray's actions easily undergo photographic interpretation, blurring the line between live art and an artistic object.
Agnieska Szablikowska & Lucaz Trusewicz, Performance Curators, 8th Biennale of Photography, Poznan, Poland (2013)
In Ballast, Victoria performs a series of delicate movements, which transform the body into a living sculpture of successive shifts that reveal its limitations and monumental aspect.
Eirini Papakonstantinou, Performance Curator, State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece (2015)
We witnessed something very precious in your action, which spoke to our bodies in a very real and visceral way. This is work I had to see and which I intuitively felt others needed to see […] it is still echoing here.
Michelle Lacombe, Curator, VIVA! Art Action, International Performance Art Festival, Montréal, Canada (2015)
I recognise Victoria Gray's action. When I looked at her, I had pain in my legs. I felt like I was the person. Can I say that, I am 9-years-old?
Lili-Gabrielle, Audience member, VIVA! Art Action, International Performance Art Festival, Montréal, Canada (2015)
Victoria Gray has developed a difficult-to-define, embodied thinking in her performance practice. Gray finds ways to go underneath appearances, connecting to a less appreciated level of existence. The ineffable aspect of such experiences is not only artistic, but spiritual and therapeutic. It is, for Gray, a political act to reconnect to these ways of sensing and making sense.
'It is in the political context of feeling beyond the physical limitations of the body, and beyond the frame of art, that I sense, in Gray’s work, the possibility of a political/spiritual/feminist approach to re-doing our world.
Denys Blacker, Performance artist, Excerpt from Blacker’s PhD "Synchronicity and Consciousness in Improvisatory Performance Art Practice" (2018)
Victoria Gray began the second night of performances at VIVA with a powerful minimalist somatisation that held the two-hundred spectators that surrounded the performance area in rapt attention.
'In the Atelier Jean-Brillant, it seemed as if we had been transported to a makeshift 19th century surgical amphitheatre. We sat, watching with great attention, the emanations of long held pain and trauma, as if we were the students of Charcot witnessing the discovery of the corporeal manifestations of hysteria. But, as we watched, the action also slowly undermined this position of spectator by communicating directly and intensely into the body, resonating with our own memories held in the flesh and in the blood.
Fortner Anderson, Critic, Excerpt from Fortner's review of Ballast titled "Heavy Duty Body Work," VIVA Art Action, International Performance Art Festival, Montréal, Canada (2015)