Olsen Ormandy's creative force hits Newcastle Art Gallery

14 Nov 2018

OLSEN ORMANDY: a creative force, a new exhibition from artists Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy, opens at Newcastle Art Gallery on Saturday 17 November.

Featuring a series of more than 50 works of art and sculptures, the exhibition celebrates the pair’s three decades of creative partnership and evolving artistic practice.

This vibrant creative tour de force showcases individual works of art from each artist alongside pieces made in collaboration, drawing on Olsen and Ormandy’s substantial archive, but also incorporating new paintings and large-scale sculptural installations.

"For more than 30 years, Louise and Stephen have built a reputation as the artists behind one of Australia's most iconic brands - Dinosaur Designs," said Newcastle Art Gallery Director Lauretta Morton.

"An earlier significant touring exhibition The Art of Dinosaur Designs showcased the couple's work in the context of their design success. This summer in Newcastle, we will look closer at these two artists and their bodies of work.

"Paintings, tapestries and sculptures in marble, aluminium, wood and resin - many of these new works yet to be exhibited - showcasing new mediums or new directions the artists have been exploring.

"This nationally relevant exhibition tells the next chapter for this artist duo - partners in life, art and work."

OLSEN ORMANDY: a creative force features joint commissions 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), and Collar Bone (2014), a wall hanging characterised by chroma clashes from orange to blue rendered in a painterly application.

A highlight of the exhibition is a new expression of Ormandy’s life-sized totems, rendered in signature resin. First shown at London Design Week 2016, these larger sculptures are formed from interconnected pieces to create extraordinary silhouettes and bold interplays of solid colours. Also on display is a series of mesmerising, never-before-seen watercolours by Olsen, exploring in two dimensions many of the themes of her decades of design and sculpture work.

"I have a fascination with balance and the relationship between being bold and the sensitivity of the delicate," Olsen said.

"I’m constantly inspired by nature; there is something beautiful about the time things take to evolve and perfect in the natural world. Resin, one of the materials we have worked with in this exhibition, has a wonderful viscous fluidity that allows us to cross the boundaries of sculpture and painting."

Ormandy said that his work is born of the subconscious mind.

"I’m looking for vibration and rhythm, the play of line creating positive and negative space, searching for tonal balance through contrast or harmony, while developing chroma relationships that hug or repel," he said.

OLSEN ORMANDY: a creative force is on exhibition at Newcastle Art Gallery, 1 Laman Street Newcastle, from 17 November 2018 to 17 February 2019. The Gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm (open seven days during school holidays) and entry is free.

Street Party and opening celebration

Join us for a fantastic, artistic street party and outdoor celebration in Laman Street for the opening of OLSEN ORMANDY: A creative force, 5-9pm, Friday 16 November.

Bring your picnic blanket and settle in for a great night. We'll have art, music, food and wine, and you can get a sneak peek of the exhibition before its official Saturday opening.

ART: The individual and collaborative works of Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy.

MUSIC: Funk, soul, disco and jackin house DJ set by STEPHEN ORMANDY; eclectic blend of heady, dream pop textures from I KNOW LEOPARD; punk-pop-meets-riot-grrrl tunes of BLOODS; and vintage inspired, experimental local act LACHLAN X. MORRIS.

FOOD & WINE: STREET FEAST joins the party with their delicious range of food trucks, sweet treats and alcoholic beverages. An outdoor night food market presented by HUNT & GATHER.

A full event schedule is available online.