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Artist of the week
Amy Olds

From the free thinking unabashed pouring of paint - to the detailed and conscious act of mark making, Amy Olds has a natural and instinctive ability to paint.

Amy Olds is a process based painter living and working in London, UK. Her work explores notions of 'control', and in particular examines those associated with human emotion. Olds uses paint to visualise and reflect her own emotional state of mind when she is painting. By exposing her self to a range of external stimulation, such as music or temperature, Olds explores a range of emotions, and so examines her own process of response and reflection.

"I am particularly interested in the contrast of allowing myself to be free at one stage, and then reigning myself in and creating a more disciplined patterned within the same piece." Olds.

Working on multiple canvases placed flat on the floor, Olds initially discards traditional painting methods. Preferring instead to use squeegees to push and pull the paint across the surface of the canvas, she builds layer upon layer of texture and pattern. Sensitively considering how each layer will affect the next, Olds chooses the colour, type and consistency of paint by intuitively and aesthetically responding to the previous layer. Allowing happy 'accident to reign' she works quickly and intuitively, gathering a sense of history and inherent energy and vitality.

"My inspiration for painting is in the process of painting itself. I see the painting as the outcome of a performance - one in which I am acting within opposing attitudes of freedom and discipline and changing my pace from fast to slow mark making."

At a point in Amy Olds' painting process, often when she feels the the painting becomes a "solid three dimensional object and a fluid moving pictorial space", Amy stops - by slowing down the physical act of painting and changing her painting technique, Amy slows down her way of thinking and responding. She hangs the canvas up on the wall and begins an intermediary process of contemplation and reflection. At a place of deep conversation between the artist and her work, Amy Olds begins the second stage of her painting process. By using repetitious mark making and pattern, often smaller in scale and applied with a traditional paint brush; she begins to expose the core or spirit of her work. In this way she begins to consciously regain control and ownership of her own art through a more traditional way of working.

Amy Olds is a real painter's painter. Her devotion to and empirical understanding of paint and material and technique, complement her intensity and strength of desire to visualise 'thinking'- thought and emotion on to a two dimensional plane. Her work uses the paint itself to direct the process by which her thoughts and instincts enable her to create the finished painting.

Born in 1965 in Washington, DC, Amy olds is an abstract painter currently living and working in London. Amy completed her BA in painting and printmaking at the Virginia Commonwealth University, USA in 1987 before moving to Britain to study an MA at the Metropolitan University in Manchester, UK in 1997.

Amy Olds has had numerous group and solo exhibitions including the Brighton Media Centre, Brighton, the Affordable Art Fair, London, Fresh Art and the Pond Galleries, London. She has undertaken a variety of private commissions and was nominated for the Becks Futures Prize in 2001.

'Process Based Art' is a generic term which can be applied to art in which the process of its making is not hidden but instead remains an important element of the completed work. We can apply this term when part or whole of the art work has been inspired by the creative process of making the work. In the late 1960s and the 1970s, Process Based Art became a widespread preoccupation of artists. A great example of such work can be seen in the Abstract Expressionist paintings of Jackson Pollock. The layers of dripped and poured paint can clearly be seen.


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