Olivia Plender

Born London, 1977

Selected Exhibitions

2007 Mystic Truths, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland (group)
2006 Radio Gallery: The Trans-Communication Lab, The Old Operating Theatre, London (group)
Tate Triennial, Tate Britain, London (group)
Becks Futures, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London and touring (group)

Olivia Plender Evil Genius from the series The Masterpiece part 4 2004

Olivia Plender
Evil Genius from the series The Masterpiece part 4 2004
© the artist

Olivia Plender’s practice is characterised by an ongoing concern with historical research. She draws from history an array of influences that extend from nineteenth-century fine art and literature to twentieth-century science fiction and surrealism. Plender’s artistic spectrum is similarly as broad and her work ranges from pencil drawing and small-scale publication to performance and installation.

For Art Now Live, a reading of a ghost story derived from Plender’s series The Masterpiece is illustrated through the projection of images from the same collection. Utilising the medium of the comic book, Plender’s drawings create a visual marker with which to reference this mysterious tale set within the confines of a fictitious London in the 1960s. The audience is drawn into the tale of the story’s subject, an artist struggling with his own virtuosity, which enters the realms of religion, spiritualism, art and the myth of the genius. The use of sound effects and music, alongside the artist’s incorporation of audience participation in areas of the script, creates a total environment in which to experience Plender’s performance.