REBELLIOUS BIRD    - Meet Yvonne Wayling

by Javier Melian, Chrom-Art co-founder

Her hit show "Love is a Rebellious Bird" at the Ben Oakley gallery just ended; fitting tittle for the work of this free spirited artist, mistress of colour and shading. Using multi layered stencils she transforms ordinary objects into extraordinary art pieces that ooze luxury and sensuality. We warn you: Her silky bottles are very addictive and highly collectible. You won't be able to put them down!

Yvonne Wayling was born in London in 1962.  She went to Loughton College in the late 70’s to study art when it was still attached to The Acting School in Loughton Essex.  She studied there for two years and was tutored by Bill Woodrow. She then took a year out to travel and then went back to college in the early 1980’s and studied Graphic Design with the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers in East London.


Since graduating Yvonne has worked in many fields of art and design.  Meeting Ben Oakley at an art gallery they went on to work together with pop up art galleries around London and the South East.  Since the Ben Oakley Gallery opened in Greenwich London, Yvonne has always shown her work there and continues to do so. During this time she has met and worked with many creative and talented artists.


Yvonne’s innovative art can be seen on many different mediums. Using spray paint and stencils she creates unique works, each piece individually painted on mediums as decadent as champagne bottles, tables, skateboards and guitars as well as traditional canvas. Her larger canvas work images are layered to give further and unexpected depth to portraiture. Ultimately, the works that Yvonne produces strive to be beautiful, unique and exquisite.


Yvonne’s work is regularly on show at the Ben Oakley Gallery and other 'in' locations such as the Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, West Bank Gallery, The Circle London, and the hottest London pop-ups. Her bottle display in the main window of Far Rockaway on Curtain Road in London’s Shoreditch is striking enough to stop traffic.

How did you start as an artist?

What are your artistic influences?

I’ve always been making things – painting, sticking, photographing, molding, drawing – I’m not sure when you would say I became an artist. I’m still learning new things with spray paint, and as you can never really make the same image twice and as there is always variation in how the paint falls especially if you layer the colours, it keeps me interested. I’d get bored making the same thing over and over again.

It is usually the details of work that attract me, or certain shades of colour that are used. I remember as a child looking at wallpaper patterns, floor tiles and adverts and these images have stayed in my mind forever. But most of my influence comes from the people I’m around and what is going on in my life. Having just spent three years seeing the end of both my parents’ lives I’ve been moving away from anything gloomy and dismal. (I also find making something beautiful is incredibly more difficult than making something stark – one tiny bit of paint in the wrong place and shit!).

What techniques would you like to experiment with in the future?

I’d like to paint more freehand but having just made my largest painting for Love is a Rebellious Bird I’d like to make more larger stencils.

You have stenciled many unconventional objects. What other objects would you like to paint given the chance?

I loved painting the large champagne bottles. I’d like to paint more of them but I don’t have any limitations to what I paint.

Which famous art work would you save from a fire?

Is there a message in your art?

I think the viewer has to work that out. I hate “art talk”. I hate when artists talk more about their art than have actual art to show.

Which famous art work would you chuck to a fire?

I have too many, the whole of the National’s Sainsbury’s Wing for starters. But if I had to choose just one from there it would be The Virgin and Child (“The Madonna and the Iris”), thought to be by the workshop of Albrecht Durer. I love this painting – the colours, all that red, the composition and the fact that she is sitting in an area of rubble and scaffolding, the detail in the plants, insects, her hair and clothes, even the really odd placement of a God in the clouds which to me looks an afterthought and strangely kitsch but that’s OK.  You cannot reproduce the shades of red, so you’ll have to go and see it.

I don’t have any I would destroy. Sometimes I go back to things that I wasn’t sure about and then really like them.  Maybe I would put “art talk” on the fire!

Where can we buy your art?

At the Ben Oakley Gallery  and from my site

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Comments: 1
  • #1

    Neb O Kelly (Saturday, 07 March 2015 10:00)

    These paintings look fantastic. Great article.