Introducing the extremely talented Kade Valja, the twenty-year-old from NSW’s Jacaranda capital.
You might have seen the post we put up on Friday, Feb 24 revealing Kade’s VR guerrilla plans for the Grafton bridge. We had the opportunity to speak with the young artist over email about his practice.
Born and bred in Grafton, Valja began his art practice at a young age starting with graffiti before becoming more interested in other forms of painting through art electives in high school. He was lucky enough to have very supportive teachers who showed a keen interest in his graffiti work and his application of this practice to more traditional styles of painting. He has just commenced his second and final year of a Visual Arts Diploma at TAFE in Coffs Harbour.
Having always been fascinated with VR technology, Kade jumped at the chance to use it as soon as he saw ‘a VR camera and smartphone headset display in a large electronics shop’ as it was previously out of reach to him due to high costs. ‘As soon as I saw it, I knew I could use this now very accessible technology in conjunction with computer editing to expand on my whole art-making practice in a profound way’ he said.
Trial and error was Kade’s main assistance in learning the technology as well as absorbing multitudes of information from a range of sources, and he looks forward to applying it to more of his work. Kade told dLux that he looks at VR as ‘being one of the strongest tools in human communication already and am excited to see where it goes and what paths it will illuminate, with the help of artists’.
Going on to speak about his latest work, Inner-space VR, Kade explains that it is a ‘very intimate installation and is to be one of a kind’. Inner-space VR is an interconnected media artwork using pillars on the Grafton train bridge as its black cube. The installation includes sculpture, light, paintings and the hand-painted smartphone headset using the same design. Kade says that ‘the whole instalment has been created though automatic (subconscious) techniques of form making and in the process of making in this fashion, certainly in painting and sculpting, I find myself able to perceive new or unrevealed parts of my consciousness.'
The work is both a meditation for real life viewers and a ‘mirror to those whose eyes have not yet seen [the installation], and maybe, depictions of innerspace.'
For those not living in Grafton, but would like to experience Kade’s work, you can purchase the Inner-space hand painted vr headset complete including the VR instalment footage (day and night versions) and bonus media plus quality small prints of two of the paintings used in the installation from his