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Member Story Sue Olivier

Sue Olivier
Talent Management, South African

"I love the story-telling aspect of art. I want it to be provocative, open to interpretation."

I’ve lived in Asia over 20 years – about 14 of them in Singapore. I work for a multinational communications agency in Talent Development, having spent the earlier part of my career as business director. I am super fortunate that my role takes me all over Asia. Luckily, I love travel and I do at least one adventure holiday a year. For me, it is an opportunity not only experience different cultures, but to practice another of my passions – photography.

I have no formal art training but when I moved to Asia, I had a growing desire to get into art (particularly painting). As I was traveling constantly and living in a new country every couple of years, it never materialized. But 4 years ago, the urge to find a studio was too hard to resist. And this studio turned out to be the perfect place for me. I love the style of teaching, the light-filled space, the camaraderie and the effortlessness of the setup. The philosophy of artists as teachers makes that you can be absolutely sure that you will be pushed to make whatever you paint, the best you are capable of.

Apart from being a couple of hours of quiet in an otherwise frantic week, painting has been instrumental in my personal journey of transformation.

My medium is oils and I love that it does not rush you. There is always time to re-work, add, deepen. I’ve recently started experimenting with water colour, and although that needs a lot more work, I think the need for meticulous planning is good for me to learn.

I feel like I am still searching for my style, but I seem to be drawn to live subjects – people, animals. For now, I am focused on portraits, experimenting with a more deconstructed style. I love the story-telling aspect of art. I want it to be provocative, open to interpretation. Maybe a life in the communications industry has something to do with it – ads communicate via concepts, connecting 2 seemingly unrelated ideas to come up with a surprising solution or a new way of looking at something,

Although I’ve had a couple of pieces shown in the member exhibitions, I am super excited to be doing a joint exhibition with a fellow member at My Art Space, in early October.

Longer term, I want to create more time for my art, and I’ve built a home in South Africa with a dedicated art studio. My family are all involved in art or craft in some way or another, so the intent is that it will be more creative collaboration space. Now, just to find time to get there to use it…

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