Meet Olivia Steele, a North American artist that shines brightly, and we say that literally! Her installations are based on illuminated objects and words which give light to the spaces that hold them.
Olivia recently installed and exhibition in Mexico City that delivered a message of freedom through neon words. It has been quite a success! So we couldn’t miss the opportunity to talk to her during her time in the city about her life, her passions, and her inspiration.
The first thing we asked her was about her life leading up to this moment… “I studied Psychology and then Communication. However, after graduating I knew I wanted to do something related to lighting, which is why I got a Masters in Lighting Design in London. I soon realized that the field was more technical than creative which didn’t satisfy my dream. I met neon 7 years ago and it’s been an intense love affair since. I never looked back…”
Her creative process is truly impressive. Olivia shared with us that first she dreams the art and then she turns that dream into an installation. “I am driven by intuition and wait to justify or explain it after completion/installation, when it all makes perfect sense”.
Almost all her pieces are connected with words, but are they connected with each other? Is Olivia expecting a certain reaction from her audience? “Words are so powerful, and when you combine them with light, its even more impactful. I use simple language to convey universal truths and personal sentiments, which most humans seem to relate to. Yes everything is connected; it’s a law of nature. There is a constant red thread of contrast, contradiction, truth and awareness throughout my work. I expect nothing and appreciate everything from my viewers.”
Believe it or not, five years ago she moved to Tulum, Mexico. She says it started off as a sabatical, but the place really got to her and she ended up staying for good. It was the space in which she healed emotionally and artistically. Mexico has inspired her through its landscapes and opportunities, from flea markets to rural and urban scenarios. “Mexico is and always will be one of the most culturally vibrant countries in the world”.
Book or movie: Movie (documentary)
Yoga or running: Pilates, but if I have to choose: Yoga.
Print or digital: Print
Mezcal or tequila: Mezcal
Waffles o pancakes: Pancakes!
Matcha or chai: Matcha
Mexican Artist: Javier Marín
Dessert: Pan de guayaba and scones from La Rosetta . They should be illegal, they are addictive!
Guilty pleassure: Chocolate and sweets
Broadway play: Blue Man Group
Caracter of book or movie: Jackie Brown
Brunch in México: Lardo
Breakfast in Tulum: Raw Love
Magazine: The Economist
Quote: “Seduction is all about intelligence and wit. Someone who makes me laugh has every chance of seducing me”. -Riccardo Tisci
Music Festival: Burning Man