B. United Kingdom, 1996
B. United Kingdom1996
Olivia Sterling’s closely cropped narrational scenes are built from bright colour and chaotic movement. She has said she is drawn to the visual language of cell-animation and her paintings satirise the bawdy slapstick humour of British seaside postcards and the rounded simplistic style of classic children’s comics. While superficially nostalgic and jovial, Sterling’s work forces an examination of the categories and semantics of race, gender and class. Her practice is primarily a reflection of the violence and indignity of isolated social interactions in which oppressive othering manifests. Sterling includes pointedly recognisable imagery, locating her boisterous characters in contemporary British social arena and relating to her own experiences.
Sterling was born in Peterborough in 1996. She studied at the University of Derby, receiving her BA in Fine Art in 2018. She went on to graduate with an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art in 2020. The same year Sterling presented the solo exhibition, It Clings Like a Leach, at Guts Gallery, London. In 2021 she returned to Guts Gallery with Really Rough Scrubbing Brush, and presented White Bread at Cob, London. In 2022 Sterling exhibited Yowel at Nevven Gallery in Gothenburg, Sweden. Her work has also been featured in over fifty group exhibitions throughout the UK and internationally. She lives and works in London.
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