Visualise. Limits of perception.

May 20, 2012 by Susie Olczak   Comments (0)

I am hopefully going to be doing another project with VISUALISE at the Cambridge Observatory, so please have a look at my tumblr blog to see progress about the project. The project should be a really interesting concept and follows on from the talk I went to a while back at Anglia Ruskin about the link between science and perception. In particular astronomy and perception. Perception is a topic that runs through all of my art works, so I hope I can produce something really great for this show. 

The talk I went to the other week really made me realise how I have been affected by an injury to my eye when I was a teenager. Although it could be seen as being detrimental to my art work to have poor vision in one eye, I think it has been fundamental to forming my artistic style. I am now much more sensitive to light and much more aware of form, colour and light as I cannot see detail very well in one eye. When I am drawing I can close one eye to only see tone and form. I think this has helped me to apreciate minimalism and to become drawn to light as a medium for art. 

I hope I can express these sentiments in my future work for VISUALISE. 

Final proposal

May 20, 2012 by Susie Olczak   Comments (0)

I have been so inspired by my time at Anglia and the architecture on the campus that I have sent a proposal to the University to ask if I can create some sculptural works for the campus. So fingers crossed that they like my ideas. I will continue to blog about any future projects on my own blog.


Please keep following me at http://www.tumblr.com/blog/susieolczak.


Here is the proposal I sent to Anglia. 

Artist statement

My work and research explores space, light, perspective and form. Predominantly the focus is on how the viewer experiences space. My work investigates how impact can be created and aims to become a physical and psychological experience for the viewer. In order for my work to become psychological, the way the spectator perceives the space alongside the physical negotiation of the space is also considered and controlled. To enable the audience to be able to form a relationship to the work, scale becomes important. The work uses scale that is recognisable to the viewer, making work that evokes the feeling of architecture but to a smaller scale, so the space becomes more intimate or intrusive.


Proposal for Anglia Ruskin

Having spent a lot of time at Anglia Ruskin over the last few months, my work has been strongly influenced by the architecture of the space. Using these influences I have developed a body of work and I am proposing two pieces to be made in order to develop these works, to enhance some of the architecture and to use some of the spaces that are not already being used on the campus. I would like to propose that the pieces would be commissioned on a long term loan basis and as suggested in a previous meeting, the university may consider contributing towards the material costs only. My motivation behind putting forward this proposal is that I feel that my work would suit the campus very well. It would also offer a way for me to conclude my AA2A scheme and the opportunity to expand my portfolio and my experience while at the same time giving something back to the university and giving the opportunity for students to get involved to help me with the install and other parts of the proposal. Any publicity I do regarding the project would help to promote the AA2A scheme, the art school and university.  

Exterior piece.

Chosen site- Raised courtyard area of the new Lord Ashcroft building.

I have chosen this site because of its position. Being surrounded by the interesting and modern architecture of the courtyard I feel that the sculptural impact would be maximised. I have chosen to use smoked glass to create the piece and the glass will reflect the architecture into it, making the viewer more aware of the interesting space that they are in.


I am proposing an exterior piece to be placed around the raised seating areas in the courtyard. The piece would be made of aluminium and toughened and polished glass so that it will be long lasting outside. It would be fixed to the wood with minimal fixings and would be strong and secure. This piece would be a direct scale up a model that I made during my time at Anglia Ruskin, so would distinctly reference my artistic experience at ARU. The chosen site would work well with the scale of the piece. The work would be impacting but not overshadowed by the space that it is in.

Interior piece.

I have chosen a site that is at the moment fairly empty and almost a non space. I like to work in corridors for this reason. My work can be viewed and experienced while the viewer passes through the space. The work will alter the viewer’s experience of a space they use on a day to day basis for functional reasons. In this corridor the ceiling is low so the scale of this piece would fit perfectly and the choice of space would mean the sculpture can be viewed inside and out. I hope this piece would draw connections between the art school and the rest of the university. The piece would again be a development from a piece I began to work on during my AA2A scheme. It would reflect the architecture around it and would change constantly due to the lighting changing outside. The piece would be made out of Perspex and steel and would be secured to the floor to ensure maximum safety using a visibly unobtrusive method.


The images from the proposal will be uploaded to my site specific proposal album.













May 18, 2012 by Susie Olczak   Comments (1)

I really enjoyed my AA2A scheme and felt that it has helped me at this point in my career. It has been great to be back in an art institution working alongside other people and to have access to facilities such as the welder, plasma cutter and laser cutter. I have produced a lot of new work which I will use to apply for new projects and to think through future ideas. I am also hoping to show the work as a body of work in an exhibition in the future. I especially enjoyed attending talks like the VISUALISE talk on art and perception. This really inspired me to make new work and confirmed that my interests are something that is the topic of research for people working in different dicsiplines. Such as other artists, curators and scientists. I found it very interesting giving talks and tutorials to students. I also gave a practical welding demonstration. By giving talks and taking questions I was able to clarify ideas I have been thinking about and to really reflect on my own work. I have been inspired by the studetns work and discussions that I have had with them and hope that they have found my work inspiring and that I will be able to maintain links with the University and the students. I would like to say thank you to all the staff who have helped me during my time at Anglia Ruskin. Their kindness and knowledge has been above and beyond what I could have hoped for.


February 15, 2012 by Susie Olczak   Comments (1)

Thanks to everyone who came along to my talk this week. I hope it was useful and please do message me if you would like a tutorial.

I am now back from an inspiring time in Berlin and ready to get back into some welding work.



January 31, 2012 by Susie Olczak   Comments (0)

Ordered some metal today. Going to be doing quite a bit of welding and combining laser cut pieces into the sculptures. I am really excited about these and as I have designed them to be interchangeable and can be shown in different positions.

I hope they will be great proposals of models for bigger pieces. I quite like the idea of an interchangeable sculpture. I am also doing some research into potential companies for larger scale laser cutting so that I could go larger if needed.

Art and Abstractism

January 25, 2012 by Susie Olczak   Comments (0)

I went along to the Aru Faru talk today about abstract art. It was really interesting. I particularly identified and found intruiging the comment made about all art being an illusion.

I also found the work of R H Quaytman interesting and will be doing more research into her work. 




Happy new semester

January 23, 2012 by Susie Olczak   Comments (0)

So I have been busy getting back into the swing of things at Anglia. I have been welding and polishing a sculpture and I started a new sculpture last week. I have also been doing some small trials on the laser cutter to experiment with geometric repetitive forms in different materials.

I have also finished the stone and Jarrah piece I was making before Christmas. It took me a while to find the right base and I have been working away at it with my stone tools. I shall put some photos up this week so watch this space.

I would love to meet some more students to see what you are getting up to and to have a chat about art so please feel free to come along and say hi in the sculpture workshop- I will be there or by the laser cutter most Wednesdays and Thursdays for the next month.

Summary at Anglia so far.

December 23, 2011 by Susie Olczak   Comments (0)

During my first semester at Anglia Ruskin I have been busy being inducted and getting used to the machinery and tools in the workshops.

I have been doing some welding and plasma cutting. I spent some time woodcarving- I was lucky enough to be helped by one of the sculpture technicians who has a lot of wood carving experience as the wood I was carving was a very hard wood called Jarrah which is quite difficult to carve.

I then took the carving back to my studio and experimented by combining it with stone in the hope that it will make a slightly precarious outdoor sculpture. It will work with the concept of balance and weight in order to evoke a reaction in the viewer.

I have been enjoying experimenting with the plastics oven- bending and forming perspex into sculptures, which I then used to bend fluorescent lighting in the reflective surface of the plastics.

I have met quite a few of the students now and have had discussions about welding, casting and plastic forming with a couple of students who are working in those materials and using similar processes.

The technicians have been really great and have welcomed me into the workshop, offering really great advice and an insight into the processes I have started working with.

I have also been busy around campus at Anglia- I really enjoyed the lecture by Quentin Blake, who spoke of how drawing can become a direct means of speaking to an audience, this is something I am interested in with my installation work in particular.

I spent quite a bit of time in the university library- researching sculptors and processes I am interested in and doing research by taking photos around the university campus, taking inspiration from the architectural structures and observing how the various different spaces are used by members of the university.

Over the last few weeks I have created some hypothetical proposals about how I could create public art within the university campus and over the Christmas break I am going to design a couple of pieces to make with the remaining time I have at Anglia Ruskin, with the hope of creating something site specific by the end of my residency.

I am hoping to get even more involved with the campus life next semester and I have arranged with the fine art tutors to give a talk about my practice and my AA2A scheme next term and will be giving tutorials to the students.

I am also going to be giving welding demonstrations to University of Cambridge students. I have been in discussion with the curator and director of the VISUALISE art project at Anglia Ruskin and have been working with them to create a light piece for their January exhibition in Cambridge City centre. I am hoping to get involved further with this project.

Things are going well.

December 2, 2011 by Susie Olczak   Comments (0)

So the meeting went well with the curator of VISUALISE and I am going to be creating some work for the project over the next few months. Watch this space.



Lectures at Ruskin.

November 30, 2011 by Susie Olczak   Comments (1)

I went along to the Quentin Blake lecture the other week. It was super to hear him speak about his work and in particular about drawing being something physical for someone to experience. I am interested in how sculpture and installation can become drawings within space in order to provoke a reaction in the viewer so it was very interesting to hear him speak about the relevance to drawing for him and his recent public artworks involving drawing.