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Artist Biography

Olivia Chamberlain, Cheer Olivia Chamberalin, Sit

Through a process of reduction in my practice, I was led to engage with the tension that became apparent between representation and abstraction. My paintings are informed by periods of observation and contemplation spent in the presence of indoor plants. I deal with issues around depiction and the relationships within the works between figure and ground, real and abstract.

The isolated plants hover against cool, monochrome grounds that create psychological space. Each plant is removed from expected ties to domesticity and the everyday through the reduction of still life cues. The engaging forms of the foliage lend themselves to notions of familiarity through appearances suggestive of daisy chains, the draping of a necklace or long, flowing hair.

Recent works present ambiguous assortments of flattened forms, isolated upon the pale blue surface of each work. The clearly articulated shapes in the paintings are specified by the particular houseplants that I have employed as formal tools. Attention is drawn to the relationships between the real and the abstract, the present and the absent.

Lives and works in Christchurch, New Zealand


Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours), University of Canterbury, 2015 Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury, 2011-2014

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