Updated: Sep 8
This week we will be taking a dive into the art practice of Oliver Dupont, our sixth Artist of the Week.
Oliver is a multimedia artist who's work ranges from evolving sound pieces as well as films that engage with local community culture. Oliver's ability to experiment with such a range of materials and processes is what drew us to talk further about his practice. If you want to find out more about Oliver's artwork you can read our Q&A below. You can find more amazing images of Oliver's artwork @o_dups_artist
Is there a piece of art that you are most proud of creating? Why?
The work I’m most proud of creating is a short audio and video piece I made in January called ‘Cyber’. I’m most proud of this because it took me out of my comfort zone in terms of experimentation and technicality. Using audio programs and making music was something that always intimidated me beforehand however it’s now an integral part of my practice. Not my best work but certainly my most important.
You describe your practice as multidisciplinary. Is it important for you to create using a variety of skills and backgrounds?
The ability to venture into different mediums is something I’ve always been interested in. Doing this allows me to explore a variety of different themes and create a variety of unique work.
Oliver Dupont, ‘Cybernetic Overload’, video, 1:02 min, 2019
Is there an element of art you like or dislike working with most? Why?
I can name endless elements I like about art and enjoy working with. The only thing I don’t like working with, that I can think of, is textiles. Doesn’t interest me nor am I very good at it.
What projects have you recently completed?
I’ve recently completed 5 speculative short video pieces for my course as well as some smaller film pieces I’ve been making whilst in isolation to continue in my pursuit for constantly improving my practice.
Oliver Dupont, Birmingham Markets (Video 1), ‘Untitled’, video, 1:30 min, 2020
Why do you make this type of art?
I make this type of art because it’s what I’m most passionate about and feel like it’s the most I can contribute to the world through my work.
How do you make it?
Like many projects this work requires an initial idea, planning, experimenting, refining and many more. More specifically the use of audio and video capture, as well as editing software like Premier Pro and Photoshop allow me to create these pieces of work.
We were very drawn to the use of music in your work such as in your album Cyber (2020), What are your thoughts on the merge between art and music?
I see music as a catalyst for speculation in my work. Music can be such an expressive type of art. Looking at a piece of art can be one thing however listening to it can add another whole level. Music can also produce more emotional responses to an audience.
Oliver Dupont, ‘Cyber’, video, 4:15 min, 2020
What kind of artists do you enjoy looking at and how have they influenced your current practice?
A couple artist’s that I love and influence my own work has to be Andrei Tarkovsky, Metaheaven and Elizabeth Price. Tarkovsky for his visuals and storytelling, Metaheaven for their speculative and technological studies and Price for her incredible and profound Audio.
How do you engage with online platforms with your artwork? Do you find these types of online communities important for an emerging artist?
Online platforms and communities are vital for art and artist’s, not only as this is the times we live in where everything is online but more recent events such as COVID-19 where you can still share and collaborate with other artists. Online platforms allow you to get your artwork out there and are essential for aspiring and emerging artists to build an audience and discover others.
What one thing would you like to change about the art industry today?
It would be hard to change but maybe the idea that it is who you know instead of what you do and what you know it’s who you know. This obviously doesn’t apply all the time and recommendations can be incredibility helpful but it’s something that I’ve noticed none the less.
Have you found that your art practice has changed or developed in quarantine?
My practice hasn’t necessary changed but I have learned about forcing limitations within your work and standing out from others when in the same position as them.
Oliver Dupont, ‘Day 62 of Isolation’, digital photograph, 2020
We saw that you have been involved in an online exhibition Trading Worlds. How did you find this process of working being involved closely with communities? Does this work comment on current social or political issues?
Trading Worlds was an amazing experience where I learned so much about Birmingham, being an artist in Birmingham and more. Working with Eastside Projects and Gavin Wade (Director of EP) gave me a good insight into the industry. This project comments on eco-politics within Birmingham Markets (BM) and community. The consumerism and culture of BM is within the heart of Birmingham. Being able to express BM through artwork was incredibly liberating.
Oliver Dupont, Birmingham Markets (Video 4), ‘Untitled’, video, 1:29 min, 2020
It has been very insightful to talk about Oliver's practice as he represents an interesting unity between art and music. We we're also engaged with Oliver's use of film, with him being the first artist that we've featured who primarily creates digital film and audio projects. It is great to see how his art practice can explore current eco-political and community issues within the city of Birmingham, especially in these trying times where our sense of community is becoming challenged.
If you are interested in being featured as an Artist of the Week you can fill out a short application form here.