Olivia, aka @westernaffair, makes cool stuff. I mean, who wouldn’t want a pair of pointy toe slingback that look like they’ve been tarred and feathered?! Or a boot that looks like it’s been doused in shaving cream? I’ll take two please!! And throw in one of those straw, literally straw, hats too.
How old are you and where do you live?
I’m 23 and I live in South London, England.
Do you go to school or work a day job?
I have graduated from University of Westminster last summer and now I make art full time.
What is the first thing ever that you made in your life? And the last?
First thing I made was probably finger painting with my mum. And most recently I am making two large scale sculptural painting for my local coffee shop lol.
Do you come from creative parents or a creative environment - How did you get the creative bug?
Um my mum is quiet eccentric and always making stuff even now, I guess I grew up making things with her. My earliest memories as a child I think I was 2 was painting with her, so I think it’s definitely something that can be exercised, but then I took it through my teenage years and you know every time someone tries to tease you say making art isn’t a real career choice ignore them!
You are very experimental. What materials do you use mostly? Is anything off limits? Have you had any disaster moments you can share?
I work with salt dough and latex a lot. Through my years of practise I’ve learnt how to mix and layer different materials to get different textures which is what my work is mainly about. I like things simple but kinda complicated and definitely interesting. So I’ll spend a lot of time on details or mixing a specific colour. Nothing is off limits but I try not to plan much, I just do stuff and then it becomes something else. I’m interested in a lot of things and the minute I find out about something new I will research for hours and try involve what I’ve learnt into my practise or life in general. I like keeping things fun.
Um no major disasters yet, but at my last exhibition ‘Ranch Dressing’ it was in the middle of summer and the gallery was so full with people it was crazy and so hot inside. My models were nearly fainting, I had to take them outside one by one to get some air. It was funny seeing these ridiculous characters I made go in and out of the space in 30cm wooden platforms and like a meter wide hats made of hay.
I know you do a lot of fashion stuff. Who has commissioned you in the past and who do you wish would commission you in the future?
Yes most of my work ends up being used in photo shoots which is great, I really like that it’s taken that turn. You get so many amazing images and I always think of my work as very disposable because of the materials I use they always change with time, most of my sculptures or studies are thrown away after photographing actually. The shoe sculptures I make I try to make last longer so people can actually wear them out, my last commission was for Tré Koch I cannot wait to see what he does with my work! 💗
If you could pick one person to dress in your work, who would you choose?
One person I’d like to see in my work, um I think if I was walking down the street and saw a complete stranger wearing something I made that would be cool. But I love seeing my friends in things I make.
Images courtesy of OLIVIA PUDELKO
interview ASHLEY MUNNS
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