Adjustments – Olivia Chamberlain
There is a familiarity to Olivia Chamberlain’s paintings, the geometric abstract forms gently reminiscent of the soft organic forms of leaves, petals or roots. Balance and harmony are integral here. The crisp, brightly coloured grounds ascend and recede against the tones of floating forms, pulling the viewer in to meditate on their precisely constructed contours and bold shapes and to explore the artist’s use of colour, texture and scale.
Layering and texture similarly entice the viewer in close to discover the richness of line and surface within each work. This engagement reveals the variability of the viewing experience, an intriguing fluidity further added to by the materiality of her paintings on both board and cotton.
Within the rhythm of repeated forms and tones unfolding across this exhibition, Chamberlain creates moments of delight and whimsy. This is evident in the evocative titles, in which she plays with the way we attribute meaning to abstract artworks. Through a slow, considered painting process she strikes a balance between intuitive responses to formal elements and measured adjustments to enhance their vibrant beauty.
Olivia Chamberlain is a Christchurch-based artist who creates sharp, vivid, abstract paintings. In 2015 Chamberlain graduated with honours from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts. She has exhibited in group and solo shows in Christchurch and Wellington, and her work is held in private and public collections throughout New Zealand, including the University of Canterbury collection. She has been the recipient of awards including the Ethel Susan Jones Travelling Scholarship 2016 and Harry van der Lecq Scholarship 2015.