I have an strong interest in psychoanalysis and often attempt to use it to help me deconstruct my own art practice, in search of not only what possesses the artist to make art, but to answer why as well.
The basic tenets of psychoanalysis include:
1.A person’s development is determined by often forgotten events in early childhood rather than by inherited traits alone.
2.Human attitude, mannerism, experience, and thought is largely influenced by irrational drives that are rooted in the unconscious.
3.It is necessary to bypass psychological resistance in the form of defense mechanisms when bringing drives into awareness.
4.Conflicts between the conscious and the unconscious, or with repressed material can materialize in the form of mental or emotional disturbances, for example: neurosis, neurotic traits, anxiety, depression etc.
5.Liberating the elements of the unconscious is achieved through bringing this material into the conscious mind (via e.g. skilled guidance, i.e. therapeutic intervention).
The list above suggests that the definitions are a driving force in the creation of my own portfolio, to me the art that I have made has more to do with re-constructing memory and fantasy. My work also presents deep contemplation, and a preoccupation with thinking and escape.
My paintings are a combination of these re-constructions and subjects that continue to fascinate me, specifically the Vietnam War, cinema, and cartoons.
Guns, war, and mainstream cinema come up a lot in my work, all of which are usually presented in a very uncompromising way. I have a deep obsession with these subjects, they fascinate me and yet terrify at the same time; all deal with pain, suffering and death and yet also present an element of play, fantasy and detachment from reality.
Where my paintings represent a kind of adolescent boyish naivety, where I balance out desire and fear, fascination, spectacle, cinema, violence, and pleasure in combinations of psychological highs and lows, there is a strong theme in my films where memory is the mediator of imagination and the reinvention of reality. The viewer of this contemplative work will be confronted by nostalgic incidents, which manifests in us the most dangerous character of indecision; to yield and enjoy, or resist in fear.
CV & Education
Oliver Smith | Visual Artist C.V.
International based fellowship or residency.
MFA (2011) Bath School of Art and Design, Sion Hill, Bath, Somerset.
Specialization: Combined Media Installation.
BFA (1999) UAL Camberwell College London / UCA School of Fine Art, Farnham, Surrey.
Specializations: Film and Video, Combined Media.
Advance GNVQ Fine Art (1997) Kent Institute of Art and Design. Dover, Kent.
Specializations: Painting, Combined Media.
2014 - Wells Art Contemporary Open. Wells and Mendip Museum, Somerset.
2014 - 25th Summer Show. Atkinson Gallery, Millfield, Somerset.
2011 - Open. Millington Marriott – New Gallery London, Peckham, London.
2011 - Square Eyes. CAZ Project Space, Cornwall.
2011 – MFA Graduation Show. Bath School of Art and Design, Sion Hill, Bath, Somerset.
2010 – Solo Exhibition. Budo Centre, Kyoto, Japan.
2007 – Solo Exhibition. Huashan Culture Park, Taipei, Taiwan.
2006 – Solo Exhibition. Huashan Culture Park, Taipei, Taiwan.
Continuing Professional Practice
2011 – Presentation of work to the faculty and students of Marlborough College, Marlborough.
2010 – Lecture on “Developing Professional Practice within Fine Art”. Bath Spa University.
2011 – Presentation on “Establishing a Contextual Framework within Fine Art”. Bath Spa University.
2011 – Lecture on “Re-establishing Studio Practice”. Bath Spa University.