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Ollie Smith

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The underlying message in my work has to be questioning the realities of ordinary language, by way of suggestion and storytelling. That it is a form of anti-philosophising, in search of a cure to the human metaphysical struggle.

Over the past 10 years, I've been bringing together bright colourful collections of imagery, painting on canvas, wooden boards and aluminium.

My work typically starts with drawing on an iPad, where I draw from and trace collected imagery found online. Source material for my work is collected from popular culture from the 20th century and might include wallpaper patterns from the 1940s, 50s, 60s and more, or be taken from collections of comic book 'thought bubbles'.

Once redrawn, I take the new images into drawing software to adjust the line and curves of the drawing line, until they are perfect. Then I can begin painting. Colour is hugely important in my work, and begins when the imagery is chosen. Colour choice is somewhat intuitive depending on the image drawn, and how it is combined with other images, colours used are usually bold and bright with clean hard line edges, with an almost graphic feel.

A large selection of my catalogue of work has typically used stencilling of my recreated images, treating them as if they were symbols as if communicating a message. These images are occasionally simplified and usually painted with solid-coloured backgrounds.

I typically finish my work in thick layers of clear resin, finding that the resin really makes the colours in the pictures pop.

More recently the stencilling of images in my work has been replaced by cutting out using a handheld CNC router machine. What I like about this unique process is that it is controlled by hand and changeable depending on my inspiration. You can move and scale the drawings accordingly, on the fly, so to speak. The cutting becomes a drawing process which leaves channels in the surfaces of the canvases, which I then fill with resin.

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