Oliver was born in Kent and attended various art institutions including Camberwell College London, he earned a Master’s in Fine Art from Bath Spa University in 2011 graduating with distinction (here is a link to Oliver Smith’s resume).
Now based in Bath, Somerset Oliver spent more than ten years living and working abroad, his life overseas has had a positively profound effect on many aspects of his life and work.
His work has deep links to his childhood, specifically a moment of self discovery when he learnt of mortality and that most of the magic he saw in movies was not real, which meant he was never going to be able to climb walls like Spiderman or fight evil spirits like the Monkey King did in the popular TV show Monkey Magic (uk title).
To Oliver his art has more to do with re-constructing memory and fantasy, and also presents deep contemplation, a preoccupation with thinking and escape. His paintings are a combination of these re-constructions and subjects that continue to fascinate him, specifically the Vietnam War, iconic cinema and cartoons.
“Guns, war, and movies 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 but also present play, fantasy and detachment from reality. If I could live the rest of my life in a video game or a cartoon I think that would be fine just as long as I could control it all.
My painting represents 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.
My films suggest memory as the mediator of imagination and the reinvention of reality. The viewer of this 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.” Oliver Smith
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.