ames Olley received his MFA from the University of Waterloo in 2008 after completing his BFA at NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2004.
Since then Olley has had a number of solo shows locally and internationally; Angell Gallery (Toronto), Galerie Trois Points (Montreal), Peter Robertson Gallery (Edmonton), Kasia Kay Art Projects (Chicago), Incident Report (New York) and Dundee Contemporary Arts (Scotland). Olley’s work belongs to private collections such as Colart Collection (Montreal) and Cenovus Energy (Edmonton). Olley has been awarded Emerging & Assistance Artist Grants (Toronto Arts Council & Ontario Arts Council), in addition, received full scholarship to the Vermont Studio Center Residency (2009). Olley’s work has been profiled at contemporary art fairs, including Pulse New York, Pulse Miami, Papier 13 and Next Chicago.
James Olley’s work shares a common interest in the fluidity and potential for motion in paint, oscillating between abstraction and figuration, as the spaces are intended to represent a state of flux. Through combining geometric and architectural forms with expressive marks. Olley’s paintings explore the overlap between memory and lived space. The works function as a window, exposing a detachment from reality into a hyper reality.
Olley’s work examines the overlap between interconnected perspectives of space and how we process memories. Constructing spaces which incorporate the concept of Lived Memory, a real and imagined place resulting in an individual or collective experience. This is where many of us reside, between the overlap and blending of experiences, imagined and real memories. Olley’s paintings reveal what’s behind the veil of reality, exposing spaces, existing between the gaps of real and imagined places and experiences.