Amazing Women – Yellow Chair Portraits

Amazing Women – Yellow Chair Portraits opening 26th January

by Olympia McEwan

The Guernsey Arts Commission are launching in the greenhouse gallery a fresh exhibition for 2018 entitled “Amazing Women – Yellow Chair Portraits” by local artist Olympia McEwan.

This exhibition runs from 26th January until 11th March, free with your Guernsey Museum Discovery pass, opening hours 10am until 4pm.

“The Guernsey Arts Commission are really pleased to be sponsoring this exhibition which uses visual arts to spotlight key women in our community. At the same time we can get a glimpse of their own unique lives, their positive impact on our community and their place in the world.” Says Russ Fossey, Head of Arts Development at the Guernsey Arts Commission.

Amazing Women – who are they?

Olympia has drawn together a collection of key women in our Guernsey community, portraying their gifts and strengths through the medium of oil. This collection is the culmination of 12 months’ work, which has grown out of Olympia’s core passion – portraiture.

‘Paint what you know’ is a mantra Olympia holds to, being comfortable with woman in her studio and personal space, she can be inspired by their stories and achievements. This exhibition celebrates the achievements of these amazing women, their contribution to better society, their roles within their families and their guiding quotes.

Olympia says that “Yellow Chair Portraits” has the potential in the future, to highlight many issues and groups of people. This is a lifelong project and one I am ready to embrace.”

These are women who contribute to the happiness of our islanders, as well as the lives of people in communities further afield.

Olympia has been influenced by Matisse, Derain, Hockney and Hodgkin, all of whom exemplify the use of colour, whilst expressing a sense of joy and playfulness in their work. Olympia uses this intuitively in her work, expressively, as a way to approximate what she sees. Olympia is self-taught, however studies and draws people constantly, sharpening her observational drawing skills whilst studying the human form.

After many commissions Olympia finally realised that people were her passion, and this led naturally to portraiture. She has entered many competitions, one of which, ‘Self-portrait in Blue’, was selected for the J J Fox Open Art Exhibition.

Olympia’s projects have purpose and with her drive behind this, she loves to work to commission deadlines or to a show, which inspires and motivates her daily.

Olympia describes the set up:-

I have a platform in my studio, upon which sits my yellow plastic bucket chair (Ikea c.1998). This is the chair on which all of my Amazing Women have sat. It is egalitarian in its purpose and functionality, and aesthetic in its design. It is undeniably a humble statement about the sitters and their willingness to volunteer their time and support to this project. Without their can-do-attitude, this exhibition could never have happened.”

 

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