Olivia Walker Balances Minimalism and Tactile Textures in Ceramics Showcased on her Squarespace Portfolio Site
Olivia Walker (previously) creates highly tactile unglazed ceramic vessels using a unique layering technique that edges her pieces with organic ridged “growths”. The U.K.-based artist fell in love with ceramics by chance: after completing her undergraduate degree she took a summer job at a craft gallery. Immediately drawn to the ceramics at the shop, Walker enrolled in an evening course and ultimately completed a master’s degree in Contemporary Ceramics. These days, with her summer job far behind her, Walker’s work is exhibited in galleries around the world. Her ceramics have been shown in Melbourne Design Week at the National Gallery of Victoria and at Hauser & Wirth’s opening of a new contemporary craft space. In 2018, she also traveled to Denmark as an artist in residence at the Guldagergaard International Ceramics Research Centre.
Walker’s aesthetic, which balances refinement with physicality, pairs perfectly with Squarespace’s clean, minimal templates. “All of my pieces start by being thrown on the wheel, before being built-upon with thousands of individually-applied fragments of porcelain, that work together to create an organic texture that eats into or grows over the original form,” Walker explains. She uses only natural porcelain with hand-mixed oxides for color to highlight the nuanced details of each piece’s textural exterior. “The minimal palette and simplicity that I aim for in my work has been easy to echo in my website through using the Squarespace platform,” says Walker. “I was looking to create a simple and clean website that showcased my work and background, and in particular that displayed my photographs in a visually impactful way.”
It is a great time to be working in the contemporary craft world, according to Walker. “There are so many opportunities for makers and a renewed interest in craft from the general public. Working with natural materials is inherently human and in the digital world we live in these materials provide something tactile and physical for people to connect to, whether that be through making, collecting or following the journey of different craftspeople.” By prominently featuring social links and a newsletter sign-up on her Squarespace site, Walker keeps a seamless flow between all her marketing outlets to allow curators, art appreciators, and collectors to find her work wherever they prefer.
If you’ve been looking for the perfect match for your creative identity, try Squarespace free for one week. When you’re ready to launch your art practice, brand, or business, use code COLOSSAL to save 10% on a website or domain name.
This post was sponsored by Squarespace.
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Graffiti artist Vile leaves his mark on the walls of occupied and abandoned buildings around Europe, using masterful techniques to create the illusion of depth in his painted interventions. The Portuguese artist has simulated letter-shaped gaps in crumbling bricks, galaxies pulsating behind concrete walls, and even entire imagined buildings. Vile, who lives in his hometown of Vila Franca de Xira, started writing graffiti at the age of 14, and studied cartooning and animation for films as well as drawing and illustration. Follow Vile’s illusory exploits on Instagram. (via Laughing Squid)
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Continuously evolving his style from early surreal comic-like renderings, to subdued portraits, all the way to abstract assemblages, Catalan artist Aryz has built his reputation as a multi-talented muralist. More recently, Aryz has reduced the quantity of new mural projects and has focused his imagery on figurative compositions built from seamlessly integrated elements.
Often leaving the brushwork as visible as possible and mixing vibrant, sometimes clashing colors, he is now fully focused on creating work that aims to translate the unmediated feel of sketching into large-scale murals. “I think, with time, you need to get rid of the technique and at the end go to the basic and go to the essence of the composition of the colors,” Aryz shares with Colossal about his unique manner of building images. “I don’t know if I’m succeeding on that, but that’s my goal at the moment.”
One recent mural, painted earlier this summer in Angers, France, depicts a shirtless man working with a large mallet. The image is constructed from various elements taken at different moments, with loose limbs suggesting energetic action. Sourcing his inspiration from propaganda posters and classical paintings, Aryz is reinventing this imagery with his own style. “I feel comfortable with it, because I like that aesthetic, instead of maybe portraying a contemporary character with jeans and piercings,” the artist explains.
A similar concept was used for a new mural in Berlin, where he conveyed a dynamic scene of wrestlers fighting. “It’s all about painting these humans that are fighting against humans as a reflection of the nowadays society,” Aryz tells Colossal. While having the rough, almost careless aesthetic of pencil drawing on paper, this four stories-tall composition is broken up by the existing window on the building. With fists, legs, and even bones appearing unexpectedly inside the composition, and expressive brushstrokes filling up the surface, the image freezes a moment of great tension.
Aryz is showing his work in several places around France this fall, including in Rouen, France at Temple Saint-Eloi through September 22, 2019, and then through November 24, 2019, in partnership with Hangar 107. In Paris, the artist’s new work is on view starting November 8, 2019. Aryz’s final French stop is at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy, opening 14 Novembre 2019, and closing February 16, 2020. Follow along with Aryz’s whirlwind tour and see more of his fresh work on Instagram.
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Old Books Become Craggy Mountains and Waterway Channels in Otoniel Borda Garzon’s Mixed Media Sculptures
Colombian artist Otoniel Borda Garzon (previously) manipulates outdated volumes of maps, reference texts, and newspapers to form abstract sculptures. The multi-part artworks juxtapose the paper pages, carved into topographical shapes that allude to cliffs and mountains, with geometric wooden trusses and smooth, water-like glass channels. You can explore more of Garzon’s wide-ranging art projects, which often incorporate reclaimed materials, on his Behance portfolio.
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A Look Inside the 45,000-Piece Collection of Trashed Treasures Curated by Sanitation Worker Nelson Molina
If, like me, you live in New York City, you’re confronted on the daily with mounds of trash on the sidewalk. While the appliances, antique furniture, clothing, and houseplants are a passing novelty for pedestrians such as myself, for Nelson Molina, the trash was his daily focus for 34 years. The veteran New York Sanitation worker, who retired in 2015 from his East Harlem route, has collected over 45,000 items of interest, all culled from his professional immersion in what New Yorkers discard.
His curatorial efforts have been widely chronicled over the years, including a 2012 profile in The New York Times, and particularly at inflection points when the collection’s future is uncertain. A new short documentary film by director Nicholas Heller meets up with the contagiously enthusiastic Molina for a look inside his curatorial process and the present state of the collection. There is currently a fundraising effort to create a permanent home for Molina’s ‘Treasures in the Trash,’ which you can contribute to here. If you’re interested in more anthropological trash projects, check out Jenny Odell’s Bureau of Suspended Objects, an archive created out of Odell’s time as an artist in residence at a San Francisco dump.
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New York-based painter Robin F. Williams captures figures—often women—in powerful poses. Her canvases usually center on one figure, whose broad shoulders and dramatic gestures fill the frame. Williams works with a range of painting styles, including more gestural, layered techniques as well as building slick, flat fields of color. In an interview with Juxtapoz (she is also on the cover of their Summer 2019 issue), Williams shared her approach to creating her unique paintings:
I am interested in micro-expressions and how we read each other’s cues. There seems to be a lot of illiteracy around body language and not enough acknowledgment that non-verbal cues can be, and sometimes have to be, very complicated. I want to compress time in these paintings by using multiple markers within one piece, either through form or narrative. The goal is not to make a painting that feels timeless, but to make a painting that feels outside of time. It’s a way to discuss how images of women have consistently been so problematic.
Williams’ solo show, With Pleasure, recently opened at Various Small Fires in Los Angeles, and runs through October 26, 2019. In addition to creating her own work, the artist has been an adjunct faculty member at the School of Visual Arts since 2013. If you enjoy Williams’ intimate, dynamic approach to female portraiture, also check out Hope Gangloff and Kathryn Engberg. Follow along with Williams on Instagram. (via this isn’t happiness)
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Murderous Hippos, Thirsty Birds, and Snoozing Seals are Highly Commended in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition
Photographers from around the world submitted their best snapshots of wildlife for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London and now in its fifty-fifth year, the showcase received over 48,000 submissions from 100 countries for the 2019 edition. All photographs shown here were designated as highly commended across a range of categories including plants and fungi, mammal behavior, wildlife photojournalism, and more. Winners will be announced on October 15 and photographs can be viewed in person at the Museum between October 18, 2019 and May 31, 2020. You can also follow the annual contest on Instagram and Facebook.
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Editor's Picks: Photography
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.