Artist: Oliver Dickens
Who are you?
Oliver Dickens. An uncanny mashup between author and character. Artist. Filmmaker. Dreamer.
What do you do?
I draw very small, often free-form pictures. I also work with moving-image, which you could say is my main focus; though I’m not so sure this is true at present…to a greater and greater extent I am trying to bring these two disciplines together in different ways, often by exploring the same themes in parallel. Currently I’m contemplating illustrating a book, either of mine or someone else’s devising. I feel like there is a lot of space to explore in the world I’ve constructed, and it needs some fleshing out…some refining.
Why do you do it?
As a hobby. For release. Sometimes for a change. Sometimes because I think I should. Sometimes to clear my mind, and spark new thoughts. Sometimes we put on group shows at the space I help run, and illustrations are often the easiest aspect of my work to fit into that sort of environment without compromising my vision.
Mainly though for the love of it, the joy of rendering a small fragment of a much larger world, and allowing that to tell a story or inspire a story. I believe a lot should be left up to the viewer, because their imagination is far more effective than my visualising could ever be. The visual should merely spark questions: Who are these beings? What are they doing in this situation? What are their rituals for? What kind of world do they live in? Of course I have my own theories and include hints to these within the images, cross references, symbolism…but i’d hope that these aren’t necessary for enjoyment of the work.
Who are your influences?
Musicians mostly…Yellow Swans, Fursaxa, Natural Snow Buildings, The Skaters. Lots of psychedelic noise and drone outfits, and the like. Basically stuff I can get lost in. I really admire people who self release, and put themselves into every aspect of their work to make it a rounded experience. From reading about Richard Skelton recently it seems like he’s another one I should be following.
Vania Zouravliov. Some other illustrators who I cannot for the life of me remember the names of. The Wellcome Collection.
The Brothers Quay & Lech Jankowski. Apichatpong Weerasethakul, endlessly. Herzog.
What inspires your work?
History, maps, botanical drawings, biology, decay, disease, music/sounds. The thick cloak of night. The Fens. Folklore and ritualism. Storytelling. The macabre, occult, and gothic. Nitrate film.
Books, especially ones that are heavy on description, that weave a spell with words. I like to get hopelessly lost in someone’s world. Susanna Clarke, Philip Pullman, and Bruno Schulz spring instantly to mind.
What do you like?
The great British countryside…especially in the Autumn. Dusk, night and the small hours. Long, drifting, summer afternoons. Tape hiss, film grain, crisp HD. Experimental fiction films. Breakfast. Hot tea. Hops.
What don’t you like?
Creative block. Mornings. Cauliflower. Politics. TV. A lot more besides
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Originally posted 2011-06-16 09:00:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter