Louise Olsen & Stephen Ormandy: The Art of Dinosaur Designs
1 Apr 2017 - 14 May 2017
Featuring a series of more than 40 large-scale sculptural forms that celebrate the pair’s thirty year creative partnership.
The exhibition was a colourful fusion of art, design and fashion, referencing Olsen and Ormandy’s iconic design label Dinosaur Designs and exploring in a gallery context the artful and aesthetic prevalent throughout their work.
Gathering highlights of Olsen and Ormandy’s creative career, Louise Olsen & Stephen Ormandy: The Art of Dinosaur Designs featured works such as Series 8: Movement (2011), a set of eight disks in dazzling colours commissioned to mark the fifth anniversary of Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA). More recent commissions included Loop (2014), a wall-hung sculpture evocative of “the rhythmic lines created when you drop a rock in a lake” as Olsen describes it. Its soft colour transitions are a constant to Collar Bone (2014) which is characterised by chroma clashes from orange to blue rendered in a painterly application.
A highlight of the show was an iconic set of life-sized totems in the artists’ signature resin. Originally developed for London Design Week 2016, the collection includes two new totems created specifically for the Hazelhurst exhibition. While developing new vases, Ormandy saw an opportunity to push the boundaries and create larger sculptural forms from interconnected pieces, and as pieces grew they embodied the characteristics of totem poles. These larger works explored the relationships of form and colour, with a focus on the variation of line and the interplay of bold solid colours, which repel and attract.
New additions to the exhibition included pieces with thousands of hand-made and hand-cast beads, which have been threaded and layered upon each other to form a sculpture. The pieces captured the essence of Dinosaur Designs, exploring the relationship between art and design, with beautiful textures and forms resulting from the use of polished and matt beads. Caterpillar (2017) was another new artwork which had been constructed using elongated layers of multi-coloured hand-cast dewy drops to form a sculptural wall piece of colour and texture.
“We apply the same principles in our art as in our design practice, but with greater sense of freedom,” said Ormandy. “We tackle each project the way you would tackle a painting or a drawing, really following your eye and allowing those accidents and developments to happen.”
This exhibition was inspired by the The Art of Dinosaur Designs held at the Bega Valley Regional Gallery.
Image: Louise Olsen, The Moon Loop (detail). Photographed by Eleanor Ackland.
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