Otago based artist Odelle Morshuis creates sensitive and layered figurative works that explore the movement of people through spaces. Her sketchy hand-drawn approach is well suited for capturing a sense of flux, change and flow of people through shared spaces.
"I enjoy the more poetic qualities of our relationship with our surroundings, I see nature as not separate from us but as part of a complex inter-relationship".
Odelle utilises mixed media in her paintings, harmonising pencil, pastel, and acrylic paint. Figures are layered on top of one another; or blurred into each other, implying connections and shared histories. The non-specific environments of her canvases enable the viewer to imagine a range of settings, inviting reflection on the many shared spaces we inhabit in our day-to-day lives. To create her works Odelle uses video to gather information on a subject. Back in the studio she projects the video onto her support, she draws and paints simultaneously to create a feeling of time and movement within a frame.
Beyond painting, Odelle also translates her ideas into sculpture, creating figurative pieces from re-purposed steel. The figures are described as silhouettes cut into the patinated material, a technique chosen to create shadows that further populate the sculpture. The sculptures will age, rust and change- as the artist describes the sculptures will "mature and gain a patina....proof I lived".
Odelle has a Masters in Fine Arts from London University, (Wimbledon College) and her work is held in many national and international collections. She works from her studio in Bannockburn, Central Otago. Recently she was awarded the Best Contemporary award at the Queenstown Art awards (2019).
“My paintings create a narrative, every space has a story, a history of movement, a past , a present and a future”- Odelle Morshuis