Whenever I am offered the opportunity to write about one of Pomegranate’s books, there is always that first, intimidating look-through of the pages, when I wonder: “How am I going to write about this?” With Irene Hardwicke Olivieri: Closer to Wildness, that sense of awe is stronger than usual. So I will begin with a line from Carl Little, author of the book’s introductory essay: “[Olivieri] brings a generosity of spirit and a personal vision to an art that engages the eye, the intellect, and the heart.” Her work is kaleidoscopic, truly.
|Who will save the secrets|
of the creatures?, 2013
|Support group, 2012|
|Rising above |
|Coaxing a better me, 2013|
|Paleo girl with ponytail, 2006|
Many of the works in the book are accompanied by text. Sometimes the artist writes about the source or inspiration for a work, and sometimes the text is excerpted from the paintings themselves. One of my favorites is the description that accompanies Putting forth your paws: “The girl in the sky is holding the tail of her bigger self, as if to tame her and get her back on the right path.” Those are the words of a woman who trusts the wild creature inside to guide her way. Closer to Wildness invites you along for part of that journey.
|Putting forth your paws, 2010|