On August 28, local artist Lovie Olivia will exhibit "Thrice Removed," a new series of paintings at Spacetaker's ARC Gallery (Winter Street Studios, 2101 Winter St.). According to a press release, "Her work explores the multi-dimensionality of women of the African Diaspora in light of the challenges and joy associated with a hybridized presence." Not the most exciting description, so Art Attack talked with Olivia to get a better understanding of her process and style. We love Olivia's imagery, and we wanted to get a sense of how it was evolving.
On her new work:
"It's a little more honest; a little more my story. I kind of call it a "coming out" show. It's about the triumphs and fights I encounter daily or yearly. And being a woman of color and being a lesbian woman--that complex layer of identities. It's a celebratory perspective. We sometimes get the short end of the rope, media-wise, pop culture. I was dealing before with more global issues that didn't necessarily have much to do with me--just telling stories about things that I'd heard or read about in the news or a novel that I read."
A lot of the new work deals with celebrating women's crafts: crocheting, sewing, storytelling. I'm getting back into these customs we once shared, that I thing are missing now."
"I'm getting less into telling the entire meaning of each piece. Each piece is inspired by many different stories. So I've tried to just take a feeling; I've tried to apply an emotion. I've left it open for the viewer's interpretation."
"I use plaster and raw pigment, and I'm using a carving technique where I carve back into the plaster. It's very friendly for me."
When I'm not in my studio, I'm probably at someone else's studio. I hang out at Brasil a whole lot. A couple friends that work there really helped me with this project. I get quiet; I put on some headphones and sketch."
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"I try to get away the river. We usually go to New Braunfels or Canyon Lake. I go up there and I tube. There's a little bed and breakfast called Firefly Inn that we visit all the time, my partner and I. We go there probably two or three times a year."