Sharleene Olivier

A gathering of my portfolio

Long drawing_!






I mistakenly registered for the wrong art degree. It is my fault for not reading the fine print.  In the first year all the art streams were the same – traditional art making – so I did not yet realize my error.  I thought “multimedia” meant any media or material.  It turns out I had to work in video editing and animation, digital art.  I longed for traditional media – pencil, paint, sculpture.  Getting my hands dirty with art materials.  To hold a pencil, feel the pressure of the graphite on the paper.  To begin the first mark on textured paper – instead I began with a white screen.  This longing for traditional media kept me from falling into the digital rabbit hole.  I continued with paint, drawing, sculpture and scanned or used them in the required format for the degree.  Steadfastly hand drawing a simple animation of my sewing machine.   I completed the “wrong” degree.  I could not replace the pencils for the mouse.  I could not replace a printed book for a tablet.

Pencil art detail 2Pencil art detailPencil art

Over Soldier Boulder Holder

The inspiration for the bra is the playfulness of using toys as a material versus the serious nature of images of soldiers, which symbolize war and violence.

I have wanted to do something with toy soldiers for a long time. Therefore, I did not have to think twice when making the bra but went straight for the toy soldiers.  When one is in the process of making other, ideas and themes attach to the work.  One of these was how organic looking the finished bra looked, like underwater coral.  Another was the interesting shadows created by the soldiers under lights when photographing.

5 Toy Soldier details_Sharleene Oliviertoy soldier 2toy soldier front


Down, down, down

1_Sharleene Olivier_Down Down Down2_Sharleene_Olivier_Detail from Down Down DownDOWN, DOWN, DOWN


Double click internet icon;



Search: Alice in Wonderland

Click images-






Lost in the rabbit hole.





Sharleene is an artist and writer based in South Africa, working in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, textiles, film and collage. She says it’s important to her to always release a piece of herself into the work. She tends to collect many treasured objects for art-making; these may be discarded things, remnants, so it becomes a personal choice of what can be used, what is worth keeping. She says that these choices may inadvertently tell a story of the artist over and above the finished artwork.

For ‘Doorways’, Sharleene work references Alice in Wonderland and particularly the references with the novel to doorways and portals. Her piece ‘Down, down, down’ uses the text of Carroll’s novel as the starting point, working with repeated strips of text to represent the rabbit hole.


Doorways preview invite (003)

Tribal Festival

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This inspiration for this project was the rhythm of living close to nature. Process is an important component of my artwork.  Just as the cycles of nature awaken and then sleep so I see my process as making, destroying, remaking, and destroying.  At completion of a piece I try to push it one more time.  A tribal festival is a return to nature.  It is to beat one’s own drum. A revival of the village where like-minded people work together.  It is to embrace inner creativity.



Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑