olly & suzi homesection

Biography

Olly & Suzi have been making art together since they met as degree students at Central St. Martins School of Art in 1987. Their on-going collaboration was cemented whilst on the D.I.P.A Scholarship to Syracuse University in New York State in 1988/89. It was during their early journeys throughout America that they first encountered Native American Indian art and mythology. Inspired by the underlying respect for nature and animals inherent in indigenous art, and the Indian belief of "animals as brothers" they decided to formalise and refine their mission as artists - best described as; “A collaborative, mutual response to nature at its most primitive and wild.”

Throughout the early nineties they exhibited throughout Germany, being represented by the gallerist and dealer Hans Jurgen Muller. They made subsequent shows in Stuttgart, Cologne and a three month exhibit entitled "Art Recycling" over-painting original drawing and prints by artists such as Joseph Beuys, Jim Dine, Emile Nolde, Marcus Lupetz and Jeorg Bazelitz during Documenta 9 in Kassel.

In search of a more direct form of inspiration, Olly and Suzi decided to leave the formal confines of their studio in 1993 and make their work on site in the wild. Since this time they have made over 50 expeditions to remote Arctic, desert, ocean and jungle regions in search of predators and prey and the fragile habitats in which they live. They have made site-specific performance based work in environments as diverse as the Alaskan interior, The North Pole, East African bush, Kalahari desert, Australian outback, the waters of the Galapagos islands, the jungles of Nepal, the Venezuelan Amazon and in the frigid waters of Antarctica.

Their interactive work was originally documented by the celebrated portrait photographer Greg Williams, and on occasion by BBC Underwater photographer of the year; George Duffield. Olly and Suzi are are represented by Hugo Nathan at Simon Dickinson in New York. Photographic editions of their work are represented by Eric Franck Fine Art and exhibited regularly at the Basel Art Fair and Paris Photo.

In 2001 - 2002 Olly & Suzi staged a major year long retrospective of their work in the wild and subsequent art/science collaborations entitled "Olly & Suzi Untamed" at The Natural History Museum in London. Olly & Suzi were Artists in Residence at The Natural History Museum for this period of time.

A major book of their work entitled; Arctic, Desert, Ocean, Jungle is currently available- published by Harry.N.Abrams in New York in April 2003.

In June 2005 Olly & Suzi began an ongoing project to focus on specific species and environments that are increasingly under threat. In 2007 the first of these new bodies of work about their long time subject- the African Wilddog, was shown at Eleven in London and a major lecture was conducted with legendary conservationist Tony Fitzjohn at the Royal Geographical Society. The event sponsored by G.H Mumm champagne and Olly and Suzi were invited to be ambassadors for Mumm.

In 2008 Olly and Suzi made a series of expeditions to record and document the fragile wildlife and ecosystems of the polar north- the work was shown at Dickinson Roundel gallery in NYC in November 2008.

After 6 years in the making the film about their 21 year collaboration and was commissioned by BBC's "Storyville" strand. The film is directed by award winning director Rupert Murray and produced by Arcane pictures and includes footage shot in Antarctica by Doug Allan (of BBC Blue Planet fame), under the ice, with predatory leopard seals. The BBC Storyville film "Wild Art- Olly Suzi paint predators" (60 mins) was shown on the BBC 4 on Febuary 2nd 2009 and is currently showing at selected film festivals around the world.

 

 

For more information on the artists and their work please contact lisa@ollysuzi.com