“The world is not simply available; it is achieved rather than given” Alva Noë ‘Varieties of Presence’ 2012
My work, directly or indirectly, has always been related to the natural environment; space, time and memory, moving from one point of focus and concept to another, with a subsequent shift of process, approaches and mediums; from conceptual site-specific installations to drawing and painting approaches. Yet, whilst employing these traditional approaches and use of mediums, I will often investigate processes, techniques and surface qualities; fusing oil paint and water-based materials together.
Whilst visiting locations, I will often make watercolour studies, take numerous photographs and collect various rocks from different walks. The combination of making onsite drawings and recordings, whilst physically collecting rock specimens, help to act as a visualization aid, a trigger for the memory, and perceptions of a location when returning to the studio. In fact, it is arguably this binary relationship between the embodied experience of ‘being in’ the landscape and being in the studio that is central to my enquiry, exploring how we might convey the sense and memory of a place through the process of painting.
My current work employs Lidar technology, a system for creating a digital 3D cloud point map of a space. I have currently been focusing on scanning sites around Scotland, such as The Lost Valley, which are processed before being translated and developed in the studio; employing digital technologies alongside those traditional approaches to explore geological and geomorphic features and characteristics of a location through memory, space and time.
Solid Earth Tides, the displacement of the solid earth's surface through the gravity of the Moon and Sun, is the title of my current work which explores the structure, geomorphology and movement of the landscape of sites around Scotland. By employing Lidar technology to produce detailed cloud-point scans of a location, the resulting imagery is then ‘processed’, and short ‘fly through’ video sequences are then created before stills images are created, which are then translated through drawing and painting approaches in the studio. The necessity of working through these processes, to create a visual and scaled set of works, allows me to gain a deeper understanding and memory of the geological features, place and space that cannot be fully encountered or experienced by walking alone.
Oliver has been a tutor, lecturer and Teaching Fellow at Edinburgh College of Art and the University of Edinburgh since 1999. He is currently in post as Head of Arts, Centre for Open Learning, University of Edinburgh.
UAL: Postgraduate Certificate in H.E. - Learning & Teaching (2007)
Master’s of Fine Arts Degree at Edinburgh College of Art (1999)
Fine Art (Hon's) Degree at Hull College of Art (1993)
Foundation Diploma at Leeds College of Art (1989)
11/17-2/18 'Varieties of Presence', Tweeddale Gallery, Peebles, Scotland.
5/08-6/08 Superficial Intrusions, Hull College of Art & Design, England.
12/20-1/21 'Flow' Visual Arts Scotland Members Winter Show.
1/2019 ‘Alight’ - Visual Arts Scotland Exhibition, RSA, Edinburgh.
12/2016 ‘Fly’ - Visual Arts Scotland Exhibition, RSA, Edinburgh.
2/2015 ‘Converge’ - Visual Arts Scotland Exhibition, RSA, Edinburgh.
9/14-10/14 ‘Fabric of the Land’, The SMART Gallery, Aberdeen, Scotland.
7/14-10/14 ‘Beyond Land’, BP Atrium Gallery, Aberdeen, Scotland.
6/12-8/12 Flat Cat Gallery, Lauder, Scottish Borders, Scotland.
5/12-6/12 Duns Castle, Scottish Borders, Scotland.
2009 Environmental Sculpture, iPark, East Haddam Connecticut, USA.
12/08 ‘Open Studios’, iPark, East Haddam, Connecticut, USA.
5/08-5/08 ‘Art for Rosie’ Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland.
4/00-5/00 Wasps, (Stockbridge Gallery), Edinburgh.
1992 Student Art Show, Maastricht, Netherlands.
AIR (artist in residence)
2013 ‘Outlandia’, Glen Nevis, Scotland. (unfinished).
2008 iPark, East Haddam, Connecticut, USA
1998 Cleveland Institute of Art, Ohio, USA.
1999 'Focal Stone', Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Scotland.