Degree: BA Fine Art
University: Newcastle University
Graduation Year: 2020
Olivia Longstaff explores the creative fathoms of paint itself. Utilising raw, un-primed canvases, Longstaff applies blocks of impasto paint to her surfaces, layering an abundance of turpentine over the top to erode the painted areas. The final effect is a symposium of colour and shape, emerging through the many veils of turpentine and canvas.
Abstract art in its rawest sense, as Longstaff deconstructs the act of painting. The artist describes this process as: ‘a line between something that is being formed and something that is falling apart.’
Olivia Longstaff’s work focuses on a meaningful engagement with the stuff of paint, walking the line towards pure abstraction. Olivia is interested in the formal elements of painting and the simple manipulation of its characteristics. She explores the conversation between the application of paint and the physicality of the surface on which it’s applied. Her most recent body of work is determined by the restriction of the space where she works. Unstretched and unprimed canvas allows the material to be folded and manipulated to fit the space. Mass blocks of impasted paint are applied to the material and are then broken down by the use of excess amounts of turpentine, enabling veils of paint to soak through the folds of the canvas. Olivia uses the immediacy of the paintings to encourage them to walk a line between something that is in the process of being formed and something that is falling apart. Olivia work explores the informal arrangement of her paintings in their space, And how this enables the work to teeter between sculpture and painting, acting as a sort of painted sculptural barrier. It is this balance that engages and alters the viewers experience of paint.
2019, Tension, Galerie Arcimboldo, Prague
2018, Materials Under Stress, The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
2019, Interim Show, Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK