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Interview

Olivia Kemp p2

Artist Olivia Kemp mentions some favorite works of poetry and talks about how literature affects her art work ...

READERSVOICE.COM: Even though you focus on details and connecting objects in your big pen drawings, do you still have an overall composition in mind, whether it be a sort of circular composition like in The Where that Was, or a rhythm of objects in pictures, like the curved hulls of boats, or towers, or islands; do you have some overall composition in mind the whole time?

OLIVIA KEMP: I sometimes have a vague idea of the structure of the drawing, so I can decide on a scale when I start out. But it always changes and evolves as I go, and nothing ever ends up adhering to the rough idea I had at the start. I think the fact it’s always evolving keeps it interesting every day when you come back to it.

RV: You like reading about landscape and you’ve mentioned a lot of authors in previous interviews. What is it that intrigues you about landscape writing?

OK: I go through phases with reading and with what I read. At the minute I’m not reading so much because I’m focusing on a lot of imagined works and basing it less in true landscape. I do still dip in and out of poetry. I like to refer back to literature, it makes you form and finish images in your mind in a way that looking at paintings can’t.

RV: You mentioned that Peregrine by J.A. Baker was a favorite book. Can you mention a favorite book from some other authors you’ve liked: like W.G. Sebald [author of Rings of Saturn]; Robert McFarlane, Kathleen Jamie, Tim Dee, Nan Shepherd, Sara Maitland, or Roger Deakin?

OK: I really like the poetry of Kathleen Jamie. The Overhaul and The Tree House are both great to dip into.

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