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Goldsmiths
CCA

Exhibitions

Olivia Sterling, Trifling, 2020, arcylic on canvas

Olivia Sterling, Trifling, 2020, arcylic on canvas

Olivia Sterling’s (b. 1996, Peterborough) graphic paintings and prints zone in on racist micro and macro-aggressions perpetuated on a daily basis in the UK, through slap-stick, absurdity, and the language of cartoons. Brightly saturated canvases depict abstracted limbs. Their interaction is variously violent and ambiguous, passing food, sticky liquids, and coded objects, or attacking each other, in actions that are the product of a systemic language of shame, exclusion, and cultural ownership. These are surrounded by letters that refer to the inane colour coding inherent to racialised discourse; the letter ‘W’ sits next to a white figures arm, and ‘B’ or ‘Br’ hover by a black limb.  Totems of British culture, such as milk bottles or Victoria sponge cakes, appear as familiar touch points for the artist’s own relationship to her Black Britishness. Influenced by eighteenth century political cartoons in which the body is distorted into grotesque forms that are encoded with the societal values of the day, Sterling has developed a bold and confronting visual style that moves through dark humour to examine tropes of race and body image in the UK now.

BIOGRAPHY

Olivia Sterling (b. 1996, Peterborough) studied BA Fine Art, University of Derby, and graduated from MA Painting, Royal College of Art in 2020. Solo exhibitions include Clutching at Straws, Volt Gallery, Bournemouth (2021), It Clings like a Leech, Guts Gallery, London (2020) and A Cure for Nose Bleeds, Marriotts Way, Norfolk (2020). Groups shows include Blank Projects, Cape Town; Saatchi Gallery, London; FOLD Gallery, London; White Cube, Online and Fitzrovia Gallery, London.

EPISODES

Episodes is an ongoing series of solo presentations that span installations, screenings, discursive events and new commissions. The focus of this programme is to provide an experimental platform for emergent practices. The series has featured work by: Oisín Byrne (14 Dec 2018–3 Feb 2019), Adam Christensen (27 April–27 May 2019), Corey Hayman (17 July–11 Aug 2019), Roland Carline (16 Nov 2019–12 Jan 2020), Sophie Barber (18 Sept–25 Oct 2020) and Kobby Adi (2 April – 16 May 2021). Episodes is supported by the Oak Foundation and Arts Council England.

SUPPORTED BY

Olivia Sterling’s (b. 1996, Peterborough) graphic paintings and prints zone in on racist micro and macro-aggressions perpetuated on a daily basis in the UK, through slap-stick, absurdity, and the language of cartoons. Brightly saturated canvases depict abstracted limbs. Their interaction is variously violent and ambiguous, passing food, sticky liquids, and coded objects, or attacking each other, in actions that are the product of a systemic language of shame, exclusion, and cultural ownership. These are surrounded by letters that refer to the inane colour coding inherent to racialised discourse; the letter ‘W’ sits next to a white figures arm, and ‘B’ or ‘Br’ hover by a black limb.  Totems of British culture, such as milk bottles or Victoria sponge cakes, appear as familiar touch points for the artist’s own relationship to her Black Britishness. Influenced by eighteenth century political cartoons in which the body is distorted into grotesque forms that are encoded with the societal values of the day, Sterling has developed a bold and confronting visual style that moves through dark humour to examine tropes of race and body image in the UK now.

BIOGRAPHY

Olivia Sterling (b. 1996, Peterborough) studied BA Fine Art, University of Derby, and graduated from MA Painting, Royal College of Art in 2020. Solo exhibitions include Clutching at Straws, Volt Gallery, Bournemouth (2021), It Clings like a Leech, Guts Gallery, London (2020) and A Cure for Nose Bleeds, Marriotts Way, Norfolk (2020). Groups shows include Blank Projects, Cape Town; Saatchi Gallery, London; FOLD Gallery, London; White Cube, Online and Fitzrovia Gallery, London.

EPISODES

Episodes is an ongoing series of solo presentations that span installations, screenings, discursive events and new commissions. The focus of this programme is to provide an experimental platform for emergent practices. The series has featured work by: Oisín Byrne (14 Dec 2018–3 Feb 2019), Adam Christensen (27 April–27 May 2019), Corey Hayman (17 July–11 Aug 2019), Roland Carline (16 Nov 2019–12 Jan 2020), Sophie Barber (18 Sept–25 Oct 2020) and Kobby Adi (2 April – 16 May 2021). Episodes is supported by the Oak Foundation and Arts Council England.

SUPPORTED BY

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