Artist Olivia Brazier Introduces You To a World of Women in a Wildly Outlandish Way.
Words: Bethany Burgoyne
Olivia Brazier’s artwork sucks you in by her use of delicious colours and familiar imagery all applied with the same brush of intelligent mockery from a female stance. So far in this young artist’s career, the subject’s compass seems to be a focusing on challenging the standardised sexualisation of women in playful and visually engaging methods. Brazier works predominantly in collage and painting, often bringing the two methods together.
A simple yet hugely successful process of placing different found imagery together is what makes this artist’s work so effective in series such as Les Pêcheuse and Couch Potatoes. Humorous titles, that will impress anyone who appreciates a good pun, draw you into Brazier’s spirited work, warming you up for what results in an inner questioning about female objectification. Within Brazier’s use of collage, you find pornographic photos of females laying atop swathes of foliage, brightly coloured backgrounds and slightly kitsch domesticated settings. The cut-outs of women in various provocative positions are matched with an array of fruit and vegetables. In a few mixed media pieces, the use of strings seems to echo orchestrated, puppet-like scenarios, perhaps a nod towards power and media control.
Potatoes, grapefruits and similar items are used to rearrange the narrative of what these women were originally depicted to be doing. The large-scale fruit and vegetables sit so disproportionately on top of the female forms that it ridicules the original concept behind their sexualisation. Presumably, Brazier is drawing a comparison to how the female body is objectified in the same way as consumable goods.
There is a strong sense of femininity to Brazier’s work that makes the viewing of these collages less uncomfortable than they may first appear. She uses her skills as an artist to mock the mass content of topless models and revert their objectified meaning. By sourcing material that is reminiscent of the Seventies and Eighties Playboy style Magazines, she makes a strong case for asking what has changed in our ways of displaying women in media since those eras.
You can follow Olivia Brazier on Instagram @brazinraisin
Words: Bethany Burgoyne