Olivia Sterling parallels modes of othering through painting cropped domestic scenes. These scenes focus on blackness, whiteness, and racism's small indignities and violence through a "slapstick" sensibility.
Olivia Sterling parallels modes of othering through painting cropped domestic scenes. These scenes focus on blackness, whiteness, and racism’s small indignities and violence through a “slapstick” sensibility. Paintings are often populated with letters and lines, regularly indicating the nearest colour to draw attention to the inanity of the language of race. One might see a “white” hand accompanied by ‘p’, for pink or peach, in contrast to the supposedly superior, pure white, which takes the form of a sticky, liquid ooze.
Her paintings are often set in bathrooms, kitchens, and playgrounds, private or public areas — any place where racism’s macro- and microaggressions might occur. These locations also suggest a variety of transformations, from raw to cooked, dirty to clean, cool to burnt. Sterling believes this aligns with moments of othering and certain observed social phenomena like blackfishing or new modes of exoticization.
In reaction to growing up in a countryside town in England, Olivia Sterling’s paintings often reference British identity by containing specific icons of the British experience, ranging from Victoria sponge cakes, milk bottles, double cream, and Pink Panther biscuits to Girl Guides imagery and plug sockets. Through the use of these objects she wishes to bind her experience as a black woman to its inalienable Britishness, and to tether the paintings to a specific time and place.
Olivia Sterling paints nostalgia-filled pieces to deconstruct complex issues of otheringLucy Bourton, It's Nice That, 6 Nov 2020
IT’S 2020 FOR F*CK SAKEART PLUGGED, ART PLUGGED, 30 Sep 2020
Begin Again is the virtual art exhibition tackling racial inequalityGunseli Yalcinkaya, Dazed , 14 Aug 2020
Scrap that, lets begin againTJ Sidhu, The Face, 13 Aug 2020
Begin Again: The online exhibition challenging austerity and racial oppressionScarlett Baker , Love Magazine, 13 Aug 2020
IT CLINGS LIKE A LEECHA Debut Solo Show by Olivia Sterling | It's 2020 For F*ck Sake – A Thirteen Artist, Back-to-Back Solo Exhibition Marathon 22 - 26 Oct 2020A Debut Solo Show by Olivia Sterling as part of the It's 2020 For F*ck Sake Exhibition Marathon
BEGIN AGAINAs society shifts, the art world shifts. We are on the cusp of change. 13 - 27 Aug 2020This is a time to stop, reflect, create dialogue, and put our words into positive action. To begin again we must shoulder each other, listen to each other, work together and collectively change together. As the newest generation of art collectors, we urge you to collect from this exhibition. The revenue made will support The Free Black University and the newest generation of artists.
to proceed to perform the first or earliest part of some action; commence; start
once more; another time; anew; in addition
With many thanks to Lotte Andersen for her continuous support throughout this exhibition, and to Pallas Citroen, Director of The Bomb Factory Art Foundation. Who is kindly providing a free gallery space as part of The Guts Prize.