Artist Spotlight: AMIE OLIVER

POSTED ON 2.4.2016

Artist Spotlight: AMIE OLIVER

On view February 5-26, 2016, “Maps Planes and Water Marks” showcases the work of Amie Oliver. We’re glad to share this short interview with her.

How would you describe your work?
At present, and for quite a while my work has been all about the WATER... and the Ink. Originally, in the 80’s it was necessary to avoid working with toxic materials as petroleum solvents were making me ill. Now its an obsession with WHAT’S IN THE WATER... and investigating how pure my materials can be and the impact it has on my work and our world. I choose to work on the smoothest, most durable surfaces possible in order to best exploit and record the qualities of these materials as well as the environment and the weather conditions I am working in. Working with ink wash in NOLA is very different than working with ink wash in Salzburg, Austria, for instance.

Can you describe your process of making work?
It depends on where I am working. I work on a variety of materials at home but when working at an artist residency or on a train or the far side of the globe I choose to work almost exclusively on paper to aid in its transport home. My residencies are all about exploiting the natural and manmade resources available in each locale. I begin by creating a series of grounds which exploit these qualities. The grounds serve as a backdrop for the personal, subjective and ephemeral and change like the seasons. Much of the work here was initiated by a residency at the VCCA in Amherst and a related residency in Salzburg.

How do the materials you’re working with inform what you are making?
Water affects everything. It is sacred, it is essential, it can save us, kill us or inspire us. The better the water, the better the whiskey made with it. I like to think it (the water!) affects the maker the same way. The same with Salt. I was initially inspired to work in Salzburg because of its origins as a source for great salt. It turns out this city has some of the purest water in the world and has produced some of the greatest artists and thinkers the world has ever known. Is it what’s in the water or what’s NOT in the water?

What are you currently working on?
After this show opens I will be creating a light based installation for SHIMMER, a public art project in Chapel Hill/Carrboro next weekend. It will feature my ladder motif, leading up to a life size suspended origami boat.
I am also working with David Williams, documentary film maker whose LONG ART documentary was featured at the Virginia Festival of American Film and elsewhere around ten years ago.

Where can we see more of your work?
It’s auction season! I'll have work in Cabin Fever, at 1708 Gallery, as well as in VisArts' Fly Me to the Moon in March and also in Within Reach, the new Artspace auction - all in Richmond later this month. Beyond that interested folks can inquire at Reynolds Gallery in Richmond, Va. where my work is often in inventory. I have also been invited to install a solo show of my work in the Richmond Times-Dispatch Lobby this year and that folks can always make an appointment to visit my studio in the Art Lab at 2216 Hull Street in Richmond. Projects and residencies are popping up all the time and usually noted on my website or public facebook page:

“Maps Planes and Water Marks” opens Friday Feb. 5 and is on view through Feb. 26. Thank you.

image gallery