October 28

Olivia Parker

Dutch still life painting of cheeses, cherries and bread against a dark background
Clara Peeters (1594 – ca. 1657), Still life, ca. 1625 Los Angeles, LACMA

Having done the exercise around multiple points and setting up a form of still life I started to do some background research on the genre. At first it made me think of Anne Zahalka’s rich and beautiful tableaus and the influences of Dutch still life painting. During a web search I then came across the work of Olivia Parker. I hadn’t come across her photography before and was really taken with her approach.

I found the ‘Still and not so Still Life’ series incredibly beautiful. In one image objects and flowers appear to tumble down the frame. Delicate flecks of colour are highlighted against the almost solid black background. Where other images initially appear more like a traditional still life closer observation often reveals something quirky, surreal or disruptive. Hearts in jars, inverted landscapes reflected in glass bowls, shards of mirror. I found them exquisitely observed and very inspirational. They really encouraged me to think about still life in a new and more creative way. To look carefully at and work with the textures, colours and shapes of the objects I might use in future.

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Posted October 28, 2012 by Dawn Langley in category "AoP Research