Oliver enjoys using textiles as a starting point, exploring themes of identity, sexuality, and gender within his personal practice. He has recently received an Arts Council Project Grant for an in-region tour of his work. The series #SoftLads is his first solo series of pictorial, contemporary tapestries.
The portrait series explores notions of masculinity. Themes span from contemporary hero worship, body image, impact of social, democratic celebrity, activism, sexuality, gender variation and history of identity. The series is focused on male tattoo facial and body art from Instagram as a starting point. The pieces explore how and why we generate images of ourselves and promote ourselves on social media. The series aims to collect a sample of portraits of men all sourced through Instagram as global social network. The images uploaded on Instagram were used as a starting point to transform the images into tapestries. The series uses textiles as a nod to historic approaches in portraiture and craft with a contemporary twist.
This project involves collaboration with The Word Association. Together they have run a series of workshops with the public. The public have been given various creative writing prompts which has resulted in an anthology #SoftLads which will be released in February 2022.
He is an experienced facilitator for creative workshops and his work often focuses on building conversations around social and political issues.
#SoftLads #LGBT #Tapestry #masculinity #textiles