London:  Silje Vallevik shares some personal highlights with Shirley Leigh-Wood Oakes

Shirley Leigh-Wood Oakes catches up with fashion model and artist Silje Vallevik to talk about her latest art exhibition, loving London and what fills her world with colour.

When did you start painting?

I have been painted since as long as I can remember.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Everything and anything can be inspiring, a trip, a photo, a friend, a song, a feeling, or just simply a big empty space with a blank canvas and fresh paints and some tunes playing in the background.

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Where would you most like to see your work?

Obviously a lot of places! I could mention about a 100, but of the top of my head I would have to say the Tate and I also love the Saatchi Gallery, its one of my favourite spaces in London.

Your latest exhibition just opened at The Arch Hotel in London, what is this new collection of work all about?

This exhibition is a private view of some of my latest work, which consists of abstract portraits of women, mainly nude as well as completely abstract pieces too. I like to work with blue tones and earthy colours. Colour is a main focus in my work; it’s how I express the emotion or message.

silje vallevik 3 Shirley Leigh-Wood Oakes LondonYou have been modeling for a number of years, when did you start? 

I started working as a model when I was 17, I used to get approached a lot by modelling agencies all through my teens, and I finally said yes and never looked back.

You love modeling because….

Of the freedom and the variety, no day is ever the same, and you can juggle other stuff on the side always, and you find yourself living all over the world.

Designers in your wardrobe….

Mainly of Helmut Lang, Alexander Wang, Acne, Felder Felder and Isabel Marant.

silje vallevik 2 Shirley Leigh-Wood Oakes LondonWhat can you not live without…..

The park, my iPhone with all thats in it, a sketch/ note pad, my friends and family, Space NK, red wine, scarves…. I could probably live without all of the above, but what a boring life that would be!

Where do you like to go to escape….

Europe in the summer, especially the Greek islands and Italy. But I recently went to Thailand, and it was the most relaxing and genuine place I’ve ever been, can’t wait to go back.

Listening to…..

Very eclectic mix of RnB, house, hip pop, pop and classic. It’s normally on shuffle.

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Why London?

I’ve lived in London for over 9 years.. And I live in South Ken now, I’ve always lived around here or Notting Hill, I love it around here because I’m so close to Hyde Park and so central, and I love that its so clean everywhere and I always feel safe here.

You LOVE this city because….

I love the parks, I love my fiends, I love the fact that you can hide if you want to, but yet everything and anything is just a phone call or a cab ride away.

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Favourite places to …….

eat in London – Bar Boulud, Cecconi’s, Bocca Di Lupo, The Wolseley, The Electric, Shrimpy’s, Colbert, The Markham, Dirty Burger, The Arts Club, Little House…the list is endless, London has so much!

to go in London – Hyde Park, the V&A, driving along birdcage walk to Buckingham palace….

5 words that describe you best? – Honest, Original, Childish, Loyal, Energetic.

Where to next?

I’m heading to Miami next for a few months, which should make for a colourful change of pallet from the London winter.

silje vallevik 5 Shirley Leigh-Wood Oakes London

Silje Vallevik