Interview: Olivia Alexander | ITSLIQUID

Interview: Olivia Alexander

Interviews | February 9, 2023 |

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Image courtesy of Olivia Alexander

Interview: Olivia Alexander
Luca Curci talks with Olivia Alexander, the winner of ARTIST OF THE MONTH – JANUARY 2023.

Olivia Alexander is a contemporary artist who was born in London but grew up in Australia. It was there she found a passion for the rugged coastal landscapes and oceans that are now her artistic focus. In 2001 she began to pursue an artistic career and undertook nine years of art training, eventually specializing in mixed media. Olivia uses unique techniques in a combination of acrylics, inks, watercolours, mineral pigments and gold leaf to create paintings in contemporary abstract. Her aim is to capture the spirit of the ocean and coastal landscape using an alchemy of design elements and formed compositions in nature. Since 2012, Olivia Alexander has received many international awards. Her latest prestigious award was a “Diplôme Médaille d’Argent” (Silver Medal) from the Société Académique of ART SCIENCE & LETTRES – Paris, in recognition of her art career, on 16 October 2022. Olivia’s artworks are owned by private collectors in many countries and since 2003 she has exhibited or been represented by galleries and curators in cities such as Paris, New York, Chicago, Rome, Bologna, Sydney, Kolkata and Singapore, to name a few. She works as a professional artist from her Gold Coast art studio in Queensland, Australia.

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Image courtesy of Olivia Alexander

Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Olivia Alexander –
I see art as a gift. It is something beautiful because, through the eyes of art, I get to explore and express my world. I love that! For me, art is also my language, albeit visual. It is a gift that is not only for me; it is also to inspire and touch the hearts of others. I don’t want to sound arrogant when I say that. I just believe that as artists, we can make a difference in the world with our art and that’s quite a responsibility! 

LC – Which artists have somehow had an influence on your work?
OA –
The French Impressionists and their courage have always inspired me. They weren’t afraid to start new art movements and challenge the norm. Picasso, Lee Kramer, and Kandinsky are on my favourite list too for the same reason. Also, JMW Turner, I love his work particularly in the latter years for his ability to capture light and its almost abstract qualities.

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Image courtesy of Olivia Alexander

LC – What issues do you intend to deal with in the future?
OA – Well, I’m still new to my area, so I am looking to gain more exposure for my work with some local pop-up exhibitions and perhaps some gallery applications. Also, I’d like to research ocean and reef conservation and have planned a trip later in the year to the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, where I live. Marine conservation is an issue that I would like to explore further through my art. 

LC – How is your creative process?
OA –
My process begins with an idea, word, poem, or experience. I never have the full image of the finished painting in my head. It starts with a ‘seed’. I begin to play with that idea in the studio using my art journal to write and experiment with colour, mark-making and layers of mixed media, etc. I try not to rush this process or what I call the ‘bit in the middle’. Sometimes it means making ugly art, but it’s where the richness of ideas can develop, and I get to explore without judgement. I then move on to canvas or wooden boards, still trying to keep a playful and open attitude. Sometimes the painting wants to go in a different direction, and I need to be open to that. I find music helps, along with excellent coffee, and I also begin my mornings with meditation and prayer before heading into the art studio. 

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Image courtesy of Olivia Alexander

LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
OA –
I love abstract art although it is one of the most difficult. My style is a mixture of abstraction with a hint of realism. I’m not just one style. The Ocean is my muse; I love the sea and coastal landscapes of Australia. I have spent most of my life outside the sea. Either in it, beach walking or when I was younger, riding my horses through the waves. It may be the colours, the rhythmic movement or the emotion I feel when I walk beside or swim in the ocean that inspires my work. I love to create art that takes people to that place of peace and renewal that is only experienced beside the ocean. 

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Image courtesy of Olivia Alexander
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Image courtesy of Olivia Alexander

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