|First Name and Last Name||
Surrealist Gothic Pagan
Olivia Hicks (b1971, Kent, UK) is a London based visual artist, lecturer in Fine Art, art educator and
curator of the Rented by the hour art exhibitions.Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in
Fine Art Printmaking in 2010 she has appeared in numerous exhibitions including The Derwent Art
Prize, The Mann group drawing show, The Cob gallery and The RWA where she won The institute of
Directors prize. She has also lectured at The Ruskin School of Art and The Croydon School of Art.
Her practice and research is focused on the relationships between drawing, painting, sculpture,
collage and print and often draws from architectural theory to explore the permeablities between the
body, complex emotional states and architectural and transient spaces
2008 -2010 – MA RCA Fine Art Printmaking- Royal College of Art – London – Distinction
Rented by the hour is an ongoing collaborative curatorial research programme always searching for the next appropriate architectural space.
The focus of the exhibitions and events is to exhibit in unusual buildings with complex histories that can be rented by the hour, away from traditional white wall gallery spaces.These exhibitions are site specific and the building itself works as an integral part of the artworks.We are aiming for the idea of an architectural “gesamkunstwerk”.
Several exhibitions over the years have been set in a very tired run down hotel in central London(Clearlake Hotel in South Kensington) that now is being repurposed by a developer. The hotel housed several separate apartments and had a chequered history having in the past been used as a brothel, a place to deal drugs from and generally a very low budget place to stay frequented by a very large variety of people.
The interiors were very shabby and dated. Walking through this labyrinth environment of the apartments what struck us as artists was how the building felt like a heaving, fragile, unstable and decaying body. The auratic feel of the individual apartments were heightened by the peeling wallpaper, tired and greasy kitchens, leaking taps and humming bathrooms. The building had its own noises and a weakening appearence, much like a human body breaking down as it ages over its lifespan. We imagined each apartment could almost represent a different part of the human body, for example the nervous system,the cerebral cortex etc, but the individual artworks evoked less literal responses to the building. We wanted to create an immersive experience where the art interventions dissected the interiors looking inward and then mirrored and reflected the architecture back at the viewer, creating new narratives and imagined stories. By treating the hotel as a decaying organism we had the freedom to create sensory, oral, abstract and psycho social environments to create a unique experience for the viewer. We wanted to raise questions of who slept in those beds, sat in each chair etc and make the artworks respond to some of the activities that may or may not have happened in such a transient space.