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OLIVIA STRANGE

'The Pleasures We Feel'
Viewing Room

19th April - 10th May 2022

 

ABOUT

Liminal Gallery is delighted to present ‘The Pleasures We Feel’ an online solo exhibition by Olivia Strange. Witch-like talons, breasts, tentacles and oysters intermingle in Strange’s multi-disciplinary works, celebrating the physicality of touch and engaging new dialogues around queer sensuality and sexuality. They hinge on a sense of intimacy and desire, the deliciously edible and the grotesque.

‘The Pleasures We Feel’ forms part of an ongoing series entitled 3 Works For 3 Weeks, an innovative take on the traditional solo exhibition promoting slow looking and true engagement with the artist, the artworks and the concepts behind them. Each exhibition in the series features 3 artworks alongside text and detail images to give an intimate insight. The exhibitions run for just 3 weeks and all invited artists are either national or international, but are currently working within the UK and Republic of Ireland, to show the breadth and diversity of art available across the countries.

 

Scroll down to view the artworks and their accompanying texts.

For all purchase enquires please get in touch.

 
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OLIVIA STRANGE
CHAMPION
2022
OIL PAINT ON 500GSM PAPER
75 X 56.5CM
£2,750

DETAIL IMAGES OF 'CHAMPION'

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A woman slides back, pulling back her legs with long witch-like talons to expose her peachy bottom. Two red horns protrude from her head while tentacles peep around the side of her, slowly enveloping her. She sinks back onto a soft bed of breasts, round, pert and seemingly defying gravity.

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The background is a candy coloured turquoise, beautifully loose swaths of paint touch upon the surface of the paper in a dreamlike way. The figure is painted in wonderful tones of pink, purple and red, the loose line work feels fresh and bold. A beautifully rendered artwork which shows Strange’s skill in using oils and her command of paint.

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This image brings to the mind the recent (and a long history of) headlines judging women in positions of power on what they are wearing, rather than what they are saying. Do we live in such a world where female empowerment can be so threatening? The work raises questions around the prescribed and contradictory expectations enforced on women in 2022. Strange tackles them head on encouraging us to be radically our true selves.

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The subject of this painting is, however, quite indulgent in the situation, taking the time to close her eyes as she gleefully throws her legs in the air exposing unkempt body hair with an aura of defiance. Her concerns are not of what others think of her, she is enjoying this moment.

Taking recognisable motifs from the previous two works, in the use of pink and witch-like fingers, this work ties all three together; the culmination of the exhibition and solidifies the artist’s research which includes Hélène Cixous writings on [1] (which solos in on a [2]Woman’s Right to Pleasure) and her seminal work [3] which speaks to the systematic historic oppression of women by patriarchal figures.

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FOOTNOTES

[1] The Newly Born Woman, Cixous, Hélène, 1975

[2] A Woman’s Right To Pleasure,  Marashi, Amir & Jong, Erica 2020

[3] La Rire De La Meduse, Cixous, Hélène, 1975

DETAIL IMAGES OF 'PLEASURE PALACE'

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A delicious candy coloured cake-like structure stands tall and firm. ‘Pleasure Palace’ could be an ornate column as much as it could be edible; hard yet soft and moreish. An oyster provocatively opens its shell to us, the edges of which have pink vulvic-like layers. In place of a pearl we see a small rounded breast, a sharp metal piercing in place of a nipple. Protruding from the oysters open shell are tentacles, lapping their way outside of the shell, suggestively like tongues longingly searching for their lovers sweet spot.

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A finger with a long pointed nail reaches into the oyster as if to tickle the alternative pearl. Another reaches into an empty oyster shell alongside, with a milky fluid collecting inside. The fingers are a nod to witches, Strange herself is a self-proclaimed queer witch. These wise women were persecuted for practising natural remedies to ease pain and cure ailments. It scared those who didn’t understand enough to create mass hysteria, culminating in the brutal murder of these beautiful women.

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The oyster is pierced by a thick metal ring, bringing to mind ideas of bondage and the piercing of genitalia for sexual pleasure. The shiny silver metal is heavy and strong, in direct contrast to the soft pinks, greens and white, as well as the fragility of the plaster itself.

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The reclamation of the colour pink is an important aspect to the artist and the colour reoccurs throughout her work. Pink is synonymous with the feminine and thought to be more emotional and weaker. However in history it was originally the colour to signify the masculine; a combination of white, for power, and red, for blood. It was the colour of warriors and the military, of strength and leadership. Strange’s works subverts the consensus on the colour, while also creating a deliciously edible aspect to the works, the pastel colours almost become the icing on a cake.

‘Pleasure Palace’ is a celebration of feminine pleasure. Women can and must assert their sexuality, not for the sake of duty, but in the name of pleasure, because this sexuality in turn becomes a weapon to fight a world dominated by misogyny.

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OLIVIA STRANGE
PLEASURE PALACE
2022
PLASTER, CLAY, STAINLESS STEEL O RING, EPOXY RESIN & A MIRROR PLATE
22 X 23 X 22cm
£4,500

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OLIVIA STRANGE
THE DELICIOUS THINGS THEY'RE DOING
2022
WALL MOUNTED SCULPTURE: PLASTER, CLAY, NAIL VARNISH, CHROME WALL PLATE AND TITANIUM NIPPLE PIERCING
28 X 24 X 28cm
£4,500

 

DETAIL IMAGES OF 'THE DELICIOUS THINGS THEY'RE DOING'

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A highly manicured pointed red tipped nail points, or maybe takes aim, towards a perfectly pink nipple with a small golden piercing. The index finger points with intention, it is either about to inflict pleasure or pain. This moment is frozen in time and the question lingers tantalisingly.

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A second hand, seemingly belonging to the same owner, firmly grasps the breast, so tightly wrinkles appear on the perfectly rounded formation. The supple breast, previously firm and pert, has been given a dose of reality. Wrinkles are not a part of the images we see in pornography or the media, they are smoothed out and photoshopped out of existence. The breast has been removed from its owner, objectified and reduced to no more than a stress ball. A thing for others to take out their frustration upon.

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The detail in this plaster sculpture is incredible, even down to the fine wrinkles of the hands, the veins under the skin and of course, the beautifully pointed and painted nails. The perfect breast is porcelain-like with a candy coloured pink nipple, pierced to suggest sexuality and sensuality.

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The hands protrude from the wall on thick metal industrial struts which seem in direct comparison to the softness and human-like qualities of the sculpture. Strange often uses found metal in her works and with this piece she uses both the piercing and the struts. Despite the work being wall based the extension out from the wall gives it a more humane and playful quality. 

The title suggests voyeurism, and we as viewers take up this role, watching the delicious things they’re doing and eagerly waiting for what comes next.  

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PRESS RELEASE

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Liminal Gallery is delighted to present ‘The Pleasures We Feel’ an online solo exhibition by Olivia Strange. Witch-like talons, breasts, tentacles and oysters intermingle in Strange’s multi-disciplinary works, celebrating the physicality of touch and engaging new dialogues around queer sensuality and sexuality. They hinge on a sense of intimacy and desire, the deliciously edible and the grotesque.

 

A celebration of the feminine in all its reality, the works give a visual to the queer experience, its graphic content serving to reject the patriarchal ideals imposed on society as to what a woman must and should be. Soft pink cake-like columns lull the viewer in with promises of sweetness, only to be confronted by women baring their all in the throws of ecstasy, demon-like as they succumb to pure pleasure.

 

‘The Pleasures We Feel’ forms part of an ongoing series entitled 3 Works For 3 Weeks, an innovative take on the traditional solo exhibition promoting slow looking and true engagement with the artist, the artworks and the concepts behind them. Each exhibition in the series features 3 artworks alongside text and detail images to give an intimate insight. The exhibitions run for just 3 weeks and all invited artists are either national or international, but are currently working within the UK and Republic of Ireland, to show the breadth and diversity of art available across the countries.

 
Each Tuesday at 10am throughout the duration of the exhibition, Liminal Gallery will release a new artwork accompanied by text and detail images onto the dedicated Viewing Room found on www.liminal-gallery.com.

To purchase please get in touch with us info@liminal-gallery.com