The artist and her dog, Marwan, accompanied by Baroque Passages (2012-2020), a commemorative series dedicated to her late mother.  

The sacred and profane in art interest me. As a sculptor, I make objects that are useless. I explore what I do not understand and commemorate human interactions. Personal experience guides me to create new works which confront issues of identity and spirituality, filtered through a fascination with global cultures. It is through a hands-on approach to material and process that I discover the new and unexpected. Clay has become my material of choice. Developmental psychologists tell me all that begins in the mind starts with the hands--these days I let my hands guide me!

I look to the origins of art and art histories through the lens of personal experience, developing ideas intuitively. Serendipity and curiosity move me, but sometimes I am compelled to create. Ritual and ceremony are woven into my clay work, as well as early installations and performances. Oftentimes I do not have a preconceived notion of what the sculpture will be like at completion, but sometimes I do begin with an overarching idea that eventually becomes more visually concrete and materially present. One thing often leads to another; accidents happen, I make mistakes, I am often impetuous, but I trust that in my hands, in the end, all will be well. The spirit moves me some of the time but the world informs me--a simple action, a gift, a view of intimacy between two strangers, the rain, a horrid moment, and a sound can inform my work.

Form and color are important in my work but form usually comes first. Color is relevant; it must fit the piece properly. I tend to use metallic glazes for several reasons but mostly I go off my intuition. Many icons are painted in gold and inlaid with jewels because it honors the subject, adding aesthetic value and luminosity that can provoke awe. The reflective elements accentuate the silhouette-like aspect of the wall pieces creating visual anomalies that question or confuse fundamental ideas of perspective and perception, as well as suggesting transcendence. 

© 2016 by Olivia Beens

Email: oliviabeens@gmail.com

Photo Credits:

Sherman Sussman

Regina Cherry

Chris Bolton

Seth Rubin

Peteris Krumins