Thursday, 31 March 2016

DECAPOD - Meet the Artists - Olive Jones

Ten years ago, as AirSpace Gallery was opening its doors for the first time, Stoke-on- Trent was a very different city. David Bethell and Andrew Branscombe opened the gallery as a space for artists to make and show new work, and as the city’s first non-commercial visual art gallery. Since opening, AirSpace has worked with hundreds of artists, both within the gallery and in the buildings and streets of the city and beyond.

Here we take the opportunity to reconnect with some of the fantastic artists and curators that we have built relationships with over the years, by asking them to nominate a rising star for inclusion in the Decapod exhibition. In this way we are continuing with our ethos of supporting the next generation of artists, something which has always been at the heart of what we do.

Ten Years, Ten Selectors, Ten Artists.

Olive Jones - selected by Emily Speed (2015)
York-based Olive Jones’ current practice centres around myths, structures and hierarchies constructed within society and tracing a line historically, particularly from a feminist perspective. And in particular, detachments and uni cations between nature and culture, the body, the self and society, and how within an ever digitalised age, meaning, the notion of ‘genuine’ is eroded and seeps into multiple discourses; cliches, platitudes, a viscous ooze of meaning and nonsense. 

Memphis (Tennessee)


O ancient pleasures of hide-and-seek, the first game of all, the game inscribed in our flesh (kitten flesh, newborn flesh) for millennia before our being born.

O the mystery of the mystery-game,
that all of us, all species, children, felines, dogs, celebrate.
- Helene Cixous, Love of the Wolf

Memphis (Tennessee) employs notions of magic, myth and fantasy. Questioning moments of future prophecies and notions of higher being, within and outside of a masculine/feminine dichotomy. Differences, similarities, obscure notions, stereotypes and binaries are blended. Creating a space in which the viewer is immersed within both the mundane and the fantastical.

Drawing from magical initiation, layers of revelation and equivocacy, where debasement and sublimation go hand in hand.  Examining hierarchies and metaphysical spaces within language and objects. Embracing ambiguities, coincidence and praxis.

Examining the notion of self-care being a radical act cross culturally and historically within pathways of enlightenment, ecstasy and vanity.

The work seeks to engage in realms of the sacred and the mystical and looks to past and current practices of worship, masquerade and ritual.
Observing how value varies according to functionality vs aesthetic or spiritual.

Looking to ancient symbolism, drawing from and shifting comparisons between this and contemporary and capitalist ideals and motifs. Male<>female sexual expressions; glamour, prestige and fantasy.

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