‘You Move Me’ Artist Interview: Olivia Jones

As part of our new Antlers Gallery exhibition You Move Me for Winter 14/15 – we are releasing a series of blog interviews with each of the artists involved in the show.

The second interview in this series is with Olivia Jones, who talks us through her practice and her approach to this project:

Studio Photo – Olivia Jones – 2014

Describe your practice in three sentences.

Reviewing the structural components that make up our landscape and considering how they behave and interact with one another.

Maintaining a dialogue between drawing and sculpture, allowing each practice to inform the other. 

Investigating our perception of our surroundings.

What themes and ideas interest you?

I’m interested in how we look and interact with structures in the landscape, how we can break down the components of our surroundings and reconstruct them to create new insights and perspectives. 

My work references and takes inspiration from aspects of architecture, engineering and geology; practices that relate to working out how structures are formed, composed and constructed.

Ideas of perception and discovery inspire me, as does my love of working with new materials and processes. When creating an artwork I try to establish a method of working that allows the materials I’m using to dictate part of the final outcome.

How did you approach the ‘You Move Me’ commission?

I knew that I wanted to create a piece that directly interacted with the tunnel structure and formed more of an intervention, so the initial concerns were how it would react to the work and what form it would take. 

My plans for the piece focused on the word ‘root’ using its various meanings and visual associations as references for the overall behaviour of the structure and its interaction with Jo Lathwood’s piece.

‘Root’ is an active word: to root down, to establish deeply, to grow roots. As a natural form it is investigative but it can also be invasive, asserting pressure on its surroundings and driving down through other materials. It can also be the source or origin of something. This idea I found really interesting because it is suggestive of a larger unseen structure or body and it created the potential to play with elements of illusion and perception.

Olivia Studio 2

Studio Photo – Olivia Jones – 2014

What themes or interests does your commission explore?

Themes include the act of re-viewing, nature/manmade and audience interaction. When focusing on a starting point for my commission I also discovered that the word ‘root’ is derived from the Old Norse word ‘rót’ – ‘to dig out’. As a lot of my previous work has been inspired by structures associated with the Nordic landscape I felt it brought an added relevance and I tried to incorporate it into the aesthetic and form of my work for the project.

What was the greatest challenge you faced in this commission?

The practicalities of the install were probably my biggest challenge. Because of the orientation of the piece I had to construct the sculpture upside down and use a jig of smaller wooden pieces to prop up the ply lengths as I worked on them. Everything was then predrilled, brought to Create Centre and slotted into place in situ.

Olivia Studio 3

Studio Photo – Olivia Jones – 2014

What has been the most interesting and/or surprising element of working on this commission?

For me the most exciting aspect of the project has been working alongside the other artists in the exhibition. This is the first commission I’ve worked on where I’ve been asked to directly respond to another artist’s work. It’s been a really interesting process, reviewing my practice, forming the connections to the concept of the exhibition and then working with Jo to adapt and locate my piece within the tunnel structure.

Olivia Set Up 2

Installation Photo – Olivia Jones – 2014

What would you like the audiences experience of the work to be?

I would like people to experience a variety of interactions with my work. To engage with the structure and discover the different perspectives of the piece as they travel through the tunnel – approaching it from a distance then seeing its form change as they move to view it up close.

What would you like people to take away after seeing your work in the context of the exhibition?

It’s difficult to define exactly what I’d like people to take away from the work…I hope that each experience is unique to the viewer and they are able to draw on personal associations to connect to the piece and to the exhibition as a whole. This is an immersive exhibition, focused on discovery. My hope is that as people leave the exhibition they discover something new in the familiar landscape of our city.

Olivia Jones: http://www.antlersgallery.com/artist/olivia-jones

Exhibition Dates: 29 Nov – 23 Dec 2014 // 5 – 10 Jan 2015

Open Times: Mon – Fri, 10am – 7pm // Sat – Sun, 12pm – 4pm

For the full programme of events please see out Project Page: http://www.antlersgallery.com/project/you-move-me

Join the conversation on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with: #YouMoveMe / @AntlersGallery