RIBOT is pleased to present Chute, a series of previously unexhibited works characterised by apparently domestic forms, with sinuous outlines and a use of vivacious colours and specifically made for the occasion by the artist Olivia Bax (Singapore, 1988; she lives and works in London).
In the show the works are suspended from the ceiling, hung on the galley walls or, more prosaically, placed on the floor, in order to create a particular atmosphere, one that wraps around the viewers and protects them in a world that permits exploration of both solidity and fragility.
We are dealing with works with an aluminium scaffolding covered in coloured papier-mâché, they are heavy in appearance but they are distinguished by an unexpected lightness. Often, as the artist herself has said, they derive from pencil sketches, but these are drawings without any plan behind them, they are on the contrary expressions of free creativity which, from the space enclosed by the paper, transform themselves into metallic structures that grow in the environment while maintaining the same spirit, though not necessarily the same aspect.
When looking at these works it is possible to recognise some familiar forms, archetypes that recur in the artist’s practice. Each sculpture lives and is sustained by a careful balance between fullness and emptiness; concave forms alluding to pockets, vases, or containers in general alternate with more minimal and slender lines. Besides revealing to us a certain formal concern, inherent in every sculptor, these contrasting elements confer on the works a strong emotive value that brings them closer to the viewers, that ideally welcomes them and hides them in its tightly close forms, but then it reveals its history, showing the most concrete and functional parts, the connections, the systems with which it clings to the wall or stands on the floor. This continuous shift between opposed elements and values is also evoked by the semantic value of the show’s title, Chute, with its various and contrasting meanings, including slide, parachute or harness.
The values and references that we read in the largest sculptures are also to be found in the Special project that Olivia Bax has created: eight small trophies, all different from each other, made from pewter alone or together with the use of blue papier-mâché. The melting of the metal alloy, the dripping that takes place when it is taken from the mould and the successive solidification, once again allude to the idea of slippage, but also to the material that changes and takes on new and recognisable forms.
Olivia Bax (Singapore, 1988, she lives and works in London). She studied among different colleges in London, including Slade School Of Fine Art, University College (2016). Her works have been shown in solo and group shows at: Lily Brooke Gallery, London, 2018; Saatchi Gallery, London, 2018 and 2015; Christian Larsen Gallery, Stockholm, 2017; Academy of Visual Arts, HKBU, Hong Kong, 2017; Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2016. Among her prizes: Mark Tanner Sculpture Award, London, 2019; Kenneth Armitage Young Sculptor Prize, London, 2016.