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Artist Spotlight – Oliver Ayem

February 5, 2018 in Artist Spotlight by Artist Lane

Our latest spotlight we spoke with Oliver Ayem. Oliver is our latest artist to join us here at Artist Lane, and we couldn’t be happier. Have a read and get to know Oliver, and when you’re done, be sure to check out his collection here.

WHAT ARE YOUR PASSIONS OTHER THAN ART?

Being out in nature. Walking my dog, cooking and gardening. I also like to build furniture from recycled wood.

IS ART SOMETHING YOU HAVE BEEN INTERESTED IN FROM A YOUNG AGE? WHEN DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN IT?

I have always been creative from a young age, I used to paint and draw what I saw around me. I have always been drawn to the ancient symbolism and iconography of cultures from around the world and would use these in my early painting practice. I’m fascinated with why we have an innate and intrinsic need to creatively express the world around us, and how this urge hasn’t changed for millennia. Later in life I became drawn to anthropology and studying old cultures, this has always influenced my artistic practice and the subjects I work with.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE OF ART?

I think this is a hard question for any artist. But there are definitely a few pieces that have influenced and inspired me growing up. I have always been drawn to those artists who seem to transcend this world and bring something otherworldly and mystical into existence. My favourites are Turner, Van Gogh, Chagall and Klimt.

HOW DID YOU GET INSPIRATIONS FOR NEW PIECES?

I often find that being still and quiet in the studio before starting to paint helps to get me into the right space for creativity. I try to immerse myself in a felt connection with nature where I can then express the energy present in all life through my paintings. I am also influenced by philosophical and theological world ideas, such as a Jungian collective unconscious, which ties all our cultural stories together and helps to forms my dreamy and ethereal paintings.

WHAT PROCESS GOES INTO CREATING A NEW PIECE?

My paintings are created by layering and glazing with colour. I like to work with the tension of applying energetic marks of oil paint onto a surface, contrasted with soft dreamy washes of night sky blues and sunset pastels. I find this tension between the light and the dark, the soft and the bold to be an exciting place to begin my paintings.

WHAT IS THE MOST INDISPENSABLE ITEM IN YOUR STUDIO?

Probably my plants. I have always needed to work surrounded by nature, this is my biggest influence and source of inspiration. Working in a studio full of plants helps me to connect with the wider natural world and transports me into other realms of creativity.

DO YOU HAVE ANY STYLING TIPS FOR PEOPLE LOOKING TO USE YOUR PIECE IN THEIR SPACES?

I like the idea of my work being in light and airy spaces. Being allowed enough wall space around them so they can become separated from everyday life and become dreamy portals and windows into other worlds. I hope people will find my artwork rejuvenating and help to create harmonious and peaceful spaces to live within.

WHAT CAN READERS LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING FROM YOU?

I am currently working on a new series of paintings that evoke the vibrancy and energy of the spring and summertime months. But my work will continue to explore our human relationship to nature, to ourselves and to a wider cosmos beyond.

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