Octavia Milner paints abstract landscapes and makes small sculptures from found materials. In the studio, the starting point for a painting is usually one of her drawings, watercolours or photographs made outside of disintegrating natural and industrial structures and their surroundings.
The sculptures and paintings in this exhibition have evolved alongside each other and work together to create an imaginary world in which Octavia’s paintings form a strange indefinable landscape, a timeless setting for her sculptural characters to inhabit.
Octavia often combines found objects with ‘made’ elements In her sculptures, such as the plaster and rusty metal added to Emerging. There is crossover too with her painting practice, in which objects are repurposed and embellished; Lady of layers is principally made from old studio paint rags, and Black box from previously painted and rejected canvases.
Octavia sees her art practice as having two distinct parts: spending time outside in the places that she is drawn to and then in the studio, surrounded by her sketch books and collections of objects, where paintings series are developed and sculptures made.
Having originally trained as a textile designer and later as a speech and language therapist, Octavia now works full time as an artist.