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Sculpture (MA)

Oliver Collins


2011-2014 BFA Fine art, Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University. 


2/2019 ‘Incidental People’ Flat Time House, London 

1/2019 ‘Sculpture Work in Progress Show’ RCA, London 

6/2014 ‘Ruskin Degree Show’ The Green Shed, Oxford  

3/2014 ‘Echo Chamber’ Dolphin Gallery, Oxford 

2/2013 ‘Soldes’ 44-45 High Street, Oxford 

11/2012 ‘Down Pour’ Dolphin Gallery, Oxford  


Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

Sculpture (MA)

There is something necessarily haunting about photographs. A photograph is a captured loss, a memento mori entombed in its frame. However, this haunting too is an immortality, a state of interbeing with the potential for narrative eternal. Under this light a photograph is rhizomatic - always in the middle, between things, reclaiming vitality in the moment of observation.  

Within my work, the camera has presented a grievance. It poses a dilemma that has forced an interrogation of my core concerns surrounding the performative event. For me, the liminality of the live is the potential of performance. With that in mind, I feel something is always lacking in the experience of performance as photographs – something vital has been lost.  

That said, I produce the occasional work where photographic documentation is a necessity. Such works occur at sites where the likelihood of an audience is limited, thereby forcing me to concede to the camera. Upon it I impose a strict set of rules: Hold still. Maintain a fixed distance. Keep silent. However, as stringent as my rules might be, such works always resist control. In a sense I have already come to terms with the loss of such works before their actuation, accepting that they will now exist as death masks – idealised frozen images of an ungraspable, opaque past.  

Yet from these points of departure unforeseen sights can emerge - chance encounters that come to define the work’s posthumous existence, whilst revitalising its body through narrative veins. Now, in turbulent times and in attempts to (re)construct the present, these are the images I find myself drawn towards. Images with their full figure residing on the edge of vision; images offering some funny little hope; absurd and impossible images haunted by a present absence, glimmering on the periphery.  



Flooring - plan,

flooring - final tiles.

Glass-hide (1),

glass-hide (2).





Birling Gap (low tide),


Project ongoing. Plans for the construction of a compound eye - lenses, floors, lattices, fullerenes - sites of the White Cube/Cliffs. Finding focus in an expanded field - from the nano to the macroscopic - pursuing natural structures that de/re/construct conceptions of reality. Fascinations with the eye organ: its evolution as sensor, emergent examinations of optics, and optics’ subsequent entanglement with humanity’s conceptions of thought.

catching glimpses of your figure,

tracking across the hill,

seeking the site of your nest,

stele snared,

bait laid,

I sought the sight of your nest,

tracked across the hill,

catching glimpses of your figure,

Footage collected over a two year period with my friend, Robert Frome.

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