Olivia Bax: Cavalcade

9 March - 13 April 2024

Cavalcade is a solo exhibition of new work by artist Olivia Bax. Situated in a former Methodist church, the sculptures respond to the space’s distinctive architecture. A cluster of enigmatic forms stand in the balcony pews like a choir, peering down, observing the sculptures from which they have been separated. 


The latter have either stationed themselves on the floor or are hanging off the gallery walls. They assume different postures: standing tall ready to move; lying down to pause; or suspended in anticipation.


Bax’s distinctive, brightly coloured, textured surfaces, open forms and portals invite the viewer to explore meanings of space and connection. Paper pulp is layered over constructed forms and partly exposed welded steel armature which have been welded and manipulated by hand.The closer one gets, the true complexity of Bax’s work becomes apparent. Conduit forms of pipes, funnels and tubes coax you along a three-dimensional roller-coaster fantasy. Forms of containment such as pockets and sacks trap space within it. Linking these are Bax’s signature hooks, handles and holding devices which connect one form to the next, navigating a route through the undulating manipulation of space and material. 


Colour plays an integral part of the structures and Cavalcade explores a new colour energy, with several different tones mixed, merging and contaminating one another. Similarly with the coloured drawings, Bax considers how colour can suggest depth, light, bruising and tension points. 


Bax’s works reflect the human body as seen in both scale and shape. The work across both levels of the gallery creates a Cavalcade, a sculptural procession where each character is unique. The sculptures are both the spectacle and the spectators.