Oliver Kirkham - Artists blog
Introducing a new series of artists blogs from selected artists who have taken part in the Restriction exhibition. Our first artist blog is from Oliver Kirkham, a South West (UK) based artist working in 3D and collage using everyday materials to produce these works. Below is an insight into Oliver's working and submission for the Restriction exhibition. This blog post was funded by the Arts Council England, giving more paid opportunities to artists.
Hello. My name is Oli and here is a short reflection on my work for Restriction. A big thank you to the Correspondence Collective and Clayhill Arts for this opportunity.
As someone who works in 3D, I initially wanted to recreate a work I’d already made; to chop down a larger sculpture in order to meet the restriction of the theme. Though it dawned on me that without access to the appropriate tools or machinery, this just wasn’t feasible.
So I found myself back at the drawing board for quite some time, thinking about ways I could free myself from the restriction of not being able to make what I wanted to; ruminating on what I didn’t have, as opposed to what I did. Little did I know when I began this project, that my final idea would be under my nose the whole time. That in fact, I was surrounded by it due to the rules of lockdown.
Materials would be the answer, as I realised I didn’t need big tools to cut individual scraps down small enough to cram into my allotted letterpress spaces. Alas, I had found an alternative way to make my sculpture fit into the size restriction: to not make a sculpture at all. I only needed to write instructions for the compartments to be filled with materials, after making a cardboard mock-up of the spaces to test if the idea would work.
I think on reflection, what I’ve learned from this experience is to have trust in both my materials and myself; to know that ideas will come, even if we cant instantly move out of our own way to realise them. And finally, to focus on what you’ve got and be grateful too, especially in times like these.
Oliver Kirkham website: https://www.oliverkirkham.com/