Vivienne Heckels was born in Rockhampton in 1943.
She recalls a teacher telling her that she would become an artist & this comment made a strong impression. An older benefactor, who supplied her with a large box of paints and brushes, also encouraged Vivienne.
When she was 19, Vivienne won the first art competition she entered.
The main influence on her painting career has been the work of the Flying Art School, a group of respected art tutors who travel to rural areas to teach emerging artists. Vivienne is now a co-coordinator of the Flying Art School.
When she was 27, Vivienne married and moved to a farm near Milmerran. During this time her work was influenced by the severe drought affecting the area and reflected the emotional & financial devastation. Some of these heart-rending works were exhibited in Canberra at the Rural Outlook 92 Conference and later at the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery.
Vivienne’s subjects are always evolving. She generally uses acrylics and mixed media to build textures in her work, using gesso, crushed paper and torn fabric before applying her bright colours and forms.
Her current work is highly original and features whimsical scenes of children and animals playing together in interconnected groups.
Vivienne aims to create laughter and a sense of freedom and happiness by portraying the children and the animals without constraints and the power to fly, jump and hop. She aims to take viewers back to a childhood time when everything was good and joyful. Vivienne binds the animals and children together by linking them with touch or by her fine painted lines or fabric threads to imply a mystic happy energy within the group.
John Massey from the Queensland Art Gallery has aptly described her work as having “the capacity to take the viewer on a flight of fantasy”.
Vivienne has exhibited in many solo an group exhibitions in Queensland and the ACT. She has won several art prizes and her paintings have been illustrated in books and media articles. Her paintings can be found in several Shire Council Offices, corporate collections in Queensland and private collections in Australia, New York and London.