H. 70 x w. 35 x d. 20 cm
This work was inspired by time spent in the Guna Yala in Panama:
"This time in Guna Yala allowed for learning from an autonomous Indigenous matriarchal culture and experimentation with movement, dance, sound recordings, and have plants as the protagonists in performance work. On return to the UK from the research made during the residency a new body of physical and video work was created that celebrates connections between society and the non-human. Language and communication are a key consideration with regard to this research project. In Western society plants and land are seen and labelled as resources, whereas in indigenous communities plants are commonly viewed as a gift, and they believe in looking at nature not as a resource, but as a sort of kinship. Indigenous culture and the use of language promote restorative reciprocity and this healthy respectful relationship with nature is a key factor as we begin to navigate the effects of climate change."
About Susie Olczak
"My research is interested in the idea of adaptation. I consider the way we intuitively wrap, stack, tie and slot materials together around us and the way that nature creeps back into every part of urban space. It is about the perception of geometry, pattern, and the elements while moving through transitory spaces, such as corridors, underpasses, and the walkways between buildings."
"I aim to make people more aware of the spaces around them by framing the details that are often overlooked. For example, the way that light flickers in-between railings when you move past them. I focus on those points where there is a discrepancy between what we think we see and what we are actually seeing. I use architectural materials - neon, stone, glass, concrete and steel – combining these in my works to consider urban spaces as systems composed of balance, weight, and fragility. Recently I have begun combining materials found in the artist's studio such as paint and silicone alongside printed media to create sculptures using layers of material. I layer and collage together to investigate our relationship with the built environment, how this is changing and how we are caught between states of flux and stability. I do this by creating works that are layers upon layers of print, precariously or imposingly balanced on one point, by using more fragile materials to prop up heavier masses, or by unusual combinations of materials such as the submersion of neon into water."
"Recently, I have been making works about how virtual space is navigated and works that highlight situations where society is overloaded by the media and where a machine has taken over and caused errors or glitches in the materials. I am interested in the way that natural phenomena such as water and light affect our experience of the world around us. Water represents the passing of time. In my current research, I am focusing on the importance of water within cities and in the duality, that exists between water as a beautiful material that is difficult to control and water as something that is increasingly threatening. Underpinning all my work are the themes of time, climate change, and urban development in the context of new technologies and digital culture. I am interested in humanity’s ever-increasing reliance on technology and in the flaws and details within this technology. "
Susie Olczak (England, UK) graduated with a BA Honours in Fine Art, Sculpture and Environmental Art from the Glasgow School of Art in 2010 and with an MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 2019.
Susie Olczak is a multidisciplinary artist with a focus on sculpture. Her work focuses on the idea of adaptation and asks the viewer to look again at the world. It is about the perception of geometry, pattern, and the elements while moving through transitory spaces, such as corridors, underpasses, and the walkways between buildings. Her work has been shown internationally in Berlin, Japan and the United States. She has exhibited around the United Kingdom, attended residencies in Finland and Panama with La Wayaka Current. She has also been commissioned to produce public artworks by BBC Scotland, Charles Saatchi at the Big Chill Festival, and the National Trust.
In Cambridge, she has produced works for The Institute of Astronomy and the Fitzwilliam Museum, as well as for King’s, Jesus, and Peterhouse Colleges of Cambridge University. In 2018 she participated in a workshop with the RCA at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and was awarded a scholarship to attend the Summer Art Academie in Venice. In 2018, she also received the Villiers David Travel Grant for a research trip to Iceland. In 2016, Susie Olczak was a bursary award winner at the Royal Society of Sculptors. In 2019 she showed in the Ingram Collection Purchase Prize Exhibition and in 2020 she completed the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award residency and exhibited the work at Standpoint Gallery. In 2021 she showed work in Landscape Portrait. Then Now at Hestercombe Gallery and took part in the Zabludowicz Masterclass.
Susie Olczak is co-founder of Conscious Isolation. She is a lecturer in Fine Art at University of Gloucestershire. She has been a visiting lecturer at Goldsmiths University of London, The Royal College of Art, University of the Arts London, University of Cambridge, University of Westminster, Falmouth University, University of Leeds, University for the Creative Arts, University of Brighton, University of Bedfordshireand Cambridge School of Art. Susie Olczak is also a freelance artist educator, working at the University of Cambridge Museums. She is a member of Space, Place, Practice research group with Bath Spa University.
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