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Artist of the day: Olivia Jeffries

Saturday, August 15, 2009 · No Comments

Today’s artist is the UK-based Olivia Jeffries, who often uses reclaimed paper as the inspiration and raw material for her art.  Olivia’s first show in the States was last fall at Pulp in Omaha, NE.  She has since shown at galleries in both San Francisco and LA.

“Old letters, books or packaging materials, for example, are salvaged from their original roles and combined with figures, symbols or shapes which have been stripped of their surroundings.  These relatively valueless materials and simple motifs are brought together to explore the barely tangible traces of life; to project the vulnerability of love, precariousness of life and inevitability of death which embody the complex and uncertain nature of simply being human.” – Olivia Jeffries

I viewed Jeffries’ work a number of times before getting around to reading her personal statement.  Each time I came back to her work, it felt poignant, modern yet ageless.  In her drawings she depicts both the joys and sorrows of the young and the old, and its the dual emphasis of joy and sorrow, young and old which gives her work a very human soul.  Now having  read Jeffries’ statment, I find it really resonates with my own personal experience with her work.  If I were to describe what draws me to her I would say it’s the fragility and humanness that she depicts- the fact that her figures, although cartoonish at times, remind us of ourselves.  The context is often unknown, a figure abruptly situated on a torn page, but that too resonates since we can all imagine ourselves as one of Jeffries’ figures, a one-page story in some time-worn book that may oneday be torn out or scribbed on.

Olivia Jeffries

Tags: Art · People

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