Olive Diamond employs the narratives of identity, displacement and migration as inspiration for this series of works.
As the artist explains, her interest in migration stems from it being a universal phenomenon that connects a multitude of communities. Mediating between figuration and abstraction, Diamond’s works compound various stylistic references, namely the loose haziness of Impressionist strokes and the rhythmic precision of photorealistic paintings.
Her artistic process starts with the ground which subsequently dictates the rest of the composition. Working intuitively, Diamond begins with gestural swaths of colour, slowly adapting them to form shapes that allude to fantastical landscapes.
Coalescing visions of real sceneries and imagined lands, the works aesthetically draw from her Jewish roots, referencing traditional synagogue mosaics, frescoes and stained glass imagery to which landscapes are central. The artist also attributes her inspiration to the Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism. These works reflect the Kabbalah’s idea of losing yourself to find and receive the knowledge of that which you wish to understand.
91.4 cm x 122 cm
30.48 cm x 25.4 cm x 25.4 cm
46 cm x 61 cm
Hide and Seek
56 cm x 56 cm
Building on notions of memory and nostalgia, the present series unfolds into a mesmeric dreamscape.
The paintings serve as a beacon for the figures in the ceramics. The artist explains that having the two in conversation allows the paintings to assume an idyllic quality, as a mirage that “becomes a form of mental respite for the figures on their journey […] propelling and motivating their travel”. By employing two different mediums to depict landscapes and human figures, Diamond inspires tension between nature and man-made structures, inviting the viewer to examine the distinctions between the various liminal spaces held at the junction of the present works.
Olive Diamond was born in 1998 in Los Angeles, California, where she lives and works.
She graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 2021 with a BFA in Painting and Ceramics. Her work has been exhibited at the Japanese American Cultural Community Centre, the Fall River Museum of Contemporary Art, Sow and Tailor Gallery and Blumenfield Projects. Her work has been featured in publications such as Flaunt Magazine, Architectural Digest, Surface Magazine, Artsy and Artnet. The artist is the recipient of the 2021 Florence Leif Award and 2020 Anderson Ranch Fellowship.
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