Previous AA2A Artist

Steve Oliver

Project summary:

I begin with a framework of time/material restrictions. These restrictions are put in place to govern decision making procedures and aid in the work's clarity of purpose. Resulting artworks analyse our relationship with space and the accumulative affects of our simply being there; filtering process through a pre-determined framework of practical theory. To this end, I propose a site responsive project focused upon developing artistic process in response to, and with, materials found in spaces across the wider Salford University Campus.


I am interested in provoking discourse between spaces; drawing them together using art processes designed to make connections and to suggest potential for these spaces to evolve as a direct result of the presence of art. The work relies heavily upon my own creative, resourceful, interaction: the potential for continual removal, deconstruction and reinterpretation of space suggests that the hub of this work lies within the rearrangement of existing elements.


I see this type of practice as a frame through which to feed a rigorous theoretical leaning, a reasoned and justified approach which nonetheless remains indifferent to a necessary 'end'. Instead, I look to develop rules that govern a process of practical decision making which, whilst naturally evading this 'end', will attempt to frame its findings for an audience. The actions and interpretive skills of the practitioner are at the core of the work. I begin by looking, then employing investigative techniques with a mind to poetic interpretation. It is important to recognise the role which decision making plays in this type of work; how attempts are made to justify these decisions as the work evolves is a focal point of the process. These decisions are focused upon by an attempt to eliminate, as far as possible, any emotional response in favour of a clear communication of ideas through the use of a responsive process.


I rest equal importance upon a tireless dismantling of the developing ideas in a studio environment. The largely neutral space offers another way in which to filter my ideas, always throwing new light on the work and suggesting possible alternatives and progressions. Studio-based reflective practice draws upon visual, written, recorded and remembered information which inevitably collects during the application of process. Understanding how these documents affect site practice is integral to my presentational strategies and subsequent progress. Often these documents throw up ideas to be fed directly back into a space, resulting in what I term a call-and-response interplay.


I foresee a legacy of transitory experiments which can be traced by an audience using the structural residues and documents left in the wake of the project. These documents will plot the lines of enquiry which developed during the scheme, recognising the possibilities for the evolution of space in direct response to artistic practice.