Olivia Kemp’s drawings are expansive and relentless, fruit of an enthusiasm that borders on obsession. They take the idea of a romanticised or idealised place and run with it beyond any natural geography or sense of proportion. While her smaller drawings are intimate and precise, her large works seem endless and complex in the extreme, packed with a plethora of tiny details which are each given minute focus but built up into scenes without any focal point or respite. Most are of places Olivia has known but which she then turns into something ‘other’ through the processes of remembering and drawing. It is memory in action, an attachment to a physical place that is fired by imagination: specific and particular, whilst at the same time sprawling and continuous.
Olivia Kemp studied BA Fine Art: Painting at Winchester School of Art, graduating in 2011, and completed “The Drawing Year” postgraduate programme at The Royal Drawing School in 2014. Her work is held in The Royal Collection (including the personal collection of King Charles), the Victoria & Albert Museum, and The Rothschild Collection, for whom she was commissioned to create a piece based on the RIBA award-winning Flint House (2015).