Olivia Hickey – Artists Statement
I have been fortunate to have spent much of my life in natural environments exploring the nooks and crannies of wilderness areas around the world. Natural places have been the driving passion of my life and have constantly filled me with wonder and inspiration. I do not interact with natural places in order to conquer them; I journey to know the land more intimately. I am drawn to the places that lie beyond where the roads end; deep within the forests, on the mountains where the earth touches the sky and on the edges where the land meets the ocean. These are the places that are sacred for me and in turn, naturally, are the spaces that I respond to with my art.
I am enthralled by the hidden details within the land and find myself captivated by the complexity and the beauty in the small. I collect natural treasures mindfully, transmute them into silver, and return them to place. This process ensures they are still part of the landscape and highlights the magic in their hidden details. It encodes a moment of time where the permanency of metal contrasts with the impermanence of place.
The process of making requires me to visit places time and time again as I develop my way of working and responding to the land. Every time I visit find myself connecting deeper through discovering new aspects of place and developing my artistic voice through each discovery. Much of my work has been created through casting, a technique that transmutes natural elements to metal through fire.
I strive to capture the intangible moments. I create talismans that connect people to the ephemeral elements of place and when placed on the landscape on the body, they are in turn a tangible reminder of the place from which they originally came.
About the Artist
Olivia has worked in the field of outdoor/environmental education for over twenty years. Her interest of making jewellery was sparked through a chance meeting with a South American jeweller whilst she was travelling in Africa. This ignited a passion left to simmer whilst she was focused on extended journeys in remote environments. A serious injury left her unable to carry a pack for a number of years and in the void her love of making was rekindled. She moved to Tasmania in 2013 in order to study and completed an Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts (Jewellery). Her work is influenced by the concepts of sculpture, land art, wilderness photography, environmental education and the discourse in contemporary jewellery. Recently she was awarded the Drombroskis Wilderness Residency Grant through Arts Tasmania and is working towards her first solo exhibition opening on the 7th February 2017 at the Sidepace Gallery in Salamanca.
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