VALENTIN BARDO STUDIO
ARTIST, DIRECTOR & PRODUCER
Since 1984, when the artistic journey really began for me, my consistent ambition in life has been to experiment and keep exploring new challenges and forms of expression. For me it started with music, poetry and performance, then moved into graphics and design. Aged 21, I was employed by the BBC and moved to London. Later, after training in PR and a period as a media and events stylist, I navigated the Indie fashion, music and publishing industries as a freelance art director.
By my mid twenties I'd developed a more cosmopolitan perspective and was travelling a great deal . Following a period spent with artists of the New Academists group in St. Petersburg, Russia, I began to explore my Expressionist tendencies more profoundly. A patron's commission to produce a body of paintings began the journey through fine arts, and in the coming years my exhibitions of paintings and sculpture secured my reputation as an emerging artist, and with it the support to continue exploring new areas of creativity.
Following twelve years in London, I spent the next fifteen living in France, Spain and Portugal. Along the way I had the privilege to work with and learn from many brilliant mentors and collaborators on a wide creative spectrum. Out of it came art, music, photography & the written word, and out of that came design, performance, filmmaking, theatre and events.
A return to my native Wales in 2017 marked another significant chapter. The autumn of my career and a new perspective - celebrating not only having achieved so many artistic goals, but also having the spirit, security and good health to continue exploring new challenges. This is Valentin Bardo.
FINE ART & EXHIBITIONS
VIDEO: CHASE VALENTIN, EXPLORING THE FIGURE
THE SHADOW CONTENT
On the understanding that our greatest insights are often born from our darkest experiences, we allow ‘that which drives us to create’ to probe deeper into the shadow content of our psyche. And from the internal chaos we emerge: broken soldiers and lost visionaries with our bodies wounded, fragmented and exposed. For us however, these images do not present the trauma of violence, nor the tragedy of death, but the experience of our heroic selves, our fears conquered, embracing our fate in a momentary state of higher being.
From "In Pursuit Of The Gods" exhibition catalogue.
VIDEO OF FIGURATIVE PAINTINGS
SOLO EXHIBITION NOTICES
A HUNDRED IMMORTALS
Images representing ancient greek deities
ERSA, GODDESS OF THE MORNING DEW
ELPIS, SPIRIT OF HOPE
NEMESIS, GODDESS OF REVENGE
La Nevera Triptych is an expressionist montage shot in and around my studio in Valencia. It was released both as a five and a fifteen minute version, the latter of which was screened at London's Shortwave Cinema. This was followed by a number of similarly experimental films that led to a productive collaboration with cinematographer Francisco Desiderio, producing portrait documentaries that were featured at the ShortCutz Film Festival.
MORE SHORT FILMS & VIDEO PROJECTS
produced & directed by Chase Valentin
THE WOMAN, THE MACHINE
[collaboration with Francisco Desiderio Oliveira and LabRats Films]
MUSIC FOR FILM & VIDEO
written and produced by Chase Valentin as CIVILIAN TEN
Theatre is truly the crucible of all artistic expression and practice. A renewed passion for it was ignited in 2009 when I began working with a team dedicated to revitalising the programme and fortunes of the Teatro Ingles in Lisbon. Over a period of eight years, working alongside accomplished directors such as the brilliant RADA alumni Valerie Braddell and highly respected designers such as Clare Lyth inspired me greatly and gave me confidence to tackle various design, direction and production roles with companies including Produçoes Prospero, Feltro Preto and Espaço Aguncheiras
Below: set and costumes for Lisbon's English Theatre production of 'Hamlet'
[directed by Jonathan Weightman, designed by Chase Valentin]
Below: set & costumes for 'The Man Outside'
[Directed by Rebecca Steingraber, designed and co-directed Chase Valentin]
PRODUCTIONS WITH LISBON PLAYERS / TEATRO INGLES
MUSIC & PERFORMANCE
I wasn't expecting to return to the stage as a frontman in my middle age, but a one-off hosting in 2018 of a Rocky Horror night as the exotic Vladamir Amira unexpectedly reignited my interest in performance and let the cat quite literally out of the bag. The following year I played Rum Tum Tugger in a musical theatre society production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Cats (directed by Rain Malone-Hallett)
The following year I began hosting and performing at open mic sessions and working with various musicians to stage concerts celebrating the life, lyrics and songs of David Bowie. This led to a collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Will Hughes, and the formation of BARDO KIN with pianist Emma Leeke.
THE WRITTEN WORD
MEMORY LANE MASSACRE
A collection of Flash Fiction and poetry. Five hundred copies were left at museums and galleries across London and are still finding their way to second-hand bookshops as far away as Nevada, USA. A copy is held in the National Library of Wales. Material from this project also went on to be developed as recitations staged at Blacks Members Club in Soho.
THE COUNCIL OF HATE [Excerpt]
In split second magnificence it blasted towards me. My eyes flashed open, and there it was, clear as a bell – the brutal end of my innocence. The despicable deeds and words of the man who sought to kill me branded my retina and in my ears. I felt my body brace as I fell from his arms. I tasted metallic fear. And I heard him bring to an end my childhood in one word; one solitary word, thudding and thick, pounding on my ear like a gunshot blast and clinking off the tongue like a spent shell hitting the deck: ‘Cunt.’ He spat. Then darkness fell.
THE KNOCK AT YOUR DOOR [Excerpt]
The golden host conducts the day – a son et lumière for him alone. He had lifted the misty skirts of the crystal Wye to reveal jewelled garters of luscious green and pools of copper-kettle sheen. Now birdsong metals the tone of the hush while the breeze pipes its song. The sun’s heat takes him to the shade of an ancient cherry tree, where he lies looking up at the sky through branches that pluck pizzicato light on the dizzying white-hot strings of the burning star. His lungs fill with oxygen, his head with perfume. The sky is unbearably blue. This is a beautiful morning to die.
THE PERFUMER [Excerpt]
They say he strives to make sweet the odour of humanity but from the hilltop comes the occasional breeze that brings with it traces of his chemistry. Those who would wish the fruit of his labours be sweet, would bear the scent not well. Wrapped in the solitude of his private occult, the Perfumer smells no other fragrance but that of his own godless faeces. He strides with lust into the shit that blocks the sewer beneath his conscious soul. He explores universal rot, distills the musk and bile of trauma and bottles without revulsion, confections of its raw vile stench.
THE COMFORT OF BREATH [Excerpt]
This, you will be pleased to hear, is my last performance. I simply don’t have the heart for it anymore. And so please, for once, I hope you do!’ There is a ripple of mirth as he swings the straps of the accordion over his shoulders, cracks his knuckles and smoothes down his hair. With a sniff like the tap of a conductor‘s baton, he squeezes out a rude sharp cough to announce the overture. There is a light flutter of applause as he unclips the concertinaed bulk and allows its lungs to fill with a slow deep breath. And silently, steadily, the lungs draw air. Silently, steadily, they exhale. Silently, steadily, the lungs draw air. Silently, steadily, they exhale...
Irisbranca Project 2010 - 2015 - Lisbon
In 2010 I developed IRISBRANCA - an initiative to encourage and facilitate creative exchange with young artists across a range of disciplines in Lisbon, Portugal. Over a five year period, the project brought together a variety of film, drama and dance practitioners on many diverse productions. The experimental cross-discipline activities led to my invitation in 2013 to mentor arts and cinematography students of Lusofona and Bellas Artes Universities.
Fishguard 2017 - present
Returning to my native Wales in 2017, I chose to settle in Fishguard, Pembrokeshire - and have since formed ties and contributed in various ways to the town's creative organisations including Theatr Gwaun, Fishguard's Art, Film and Musical Theatre societies, Aberjazz Festival, Decibels Choir. While supporting various arts initiatives, my particular focus is on creating opportunities for local performers and musicians to develop their skills and to explore and expand their artistry.