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 confront issues of identity and spirituality, with a view of world cultures. It is through a hands- on approach to materials and the process of creating 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 origins of art, art history through the lenses of personal experience organically developing ideas Intuitively. Serendipity and curiously move me but sometimes I am compelled to create. Ritual and ceremony are woven into my clay work, early installation/performance work or clay and otherwise. I often do not have a preconceived notion of what the sculpture will be like in the end. But sometimes I do begin with a global idea that becomes more specific over time, 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 the end, in my hands 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 it feels right. It, of course refers to alchemy and many icons are painted in gold, be deckled with jewels because it honors the subject, adding value, preciousness 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... but most importantly they suggest “transcendence”. 

Over the years my work has transformed from Installation/Performance to clay. I work figuratively, abstractly and conceptually exploring issues of identity, sexuality, feminism, and religion using the lenses of personal experience woven into my work, clay and otherwise.

© 2016 by Olivia Beens


Photo Credits:

Sherman Sussman

Regina Cherry

Chris Bolton

Seth Rubin

Peteris Krumins