Olivia Plender

Works * CV * Texts and press

Exhibitions and events:
Nascent States


Olivia Plender, Self-direction Lounge, 2013
installation view, Henie Onstad Kunstenter


Olivia Plender, Progress, 2010
drawing, ink on paper, 10*29x21cm


Olivia Plender, How Paul’s Penny Became a Pound, 2012
sculpture, painted fabric banner, 250x150cm
installation view, MK Gallery

“Then was Christian in great distress, and knew not what to do; for he wanted that which used to relieve him, and that which should have been his pass into the Celestial City… Sometimes he sighed, sometimes he wept, and oftentimes he chid himself for being so foolish to fall asleep in that place, which was erected only for a little refreshment for his weariness… He went thus till he came again within sight of the Arbor where he sat and slept; but that sight renewed his sorrow the more, by bringing again, even afresh, his evil of sleeping into his mind. Thus therefore he now went on bewailing his sinful sleep, saying, O wretched man that I am, that I should sleep in the daytime!” Text from Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan (1678)


Olivia Plender, The Truth Itself Speaks Through Me, 2012
sculpture, MDF, card, plaster, acrylic paint, flocking


Olivia Plender, Set Sail for the Levant, A Board Game About Debt (or a social satire), 2007

'Empire City - The World on One Street' is an architectural model which reconstructs the site of the British Empire exhibition of 1924 and combines it with elements drawn from Pilgrim’s Progress.


Olivia Plender, Empire City - The World on One Street, 2009
sculpture, MDF, card, plaster, acrylic paint, flocking


Olivia Plender, Stockholm Duck House: Proposed Monument to British Parliamentary Corruption, Circa 2009, 2012
sculpture, wood, lead, paint


Olivia Plender, Hortus Conclusus (Enclosed Garden), 2012
installation, paint, wood, tape
installation view, MK Gallery

'Open Forum' re-creates a 1970s style TV studio and features a large stage, audience 'conversation pit', television monitors and a world map. The installation contains archive material related to experimental art education in the UK including The Open University’s interdisciplinary Art and Environment Course.


Olivia Plender, Open Forum, 2012
installation view, Arnolfini, Bristol


Olivia Plender, Google Office, 2010-2012
installation view, Taipei Biennial


Olivia Plender, Are Dreams Hallucinations During Sleep or Hallucinations Waking Dreams?, 2011
video, two-channel video installation
video still


Olivia Plender, The Thames Whale, 2009
drawing, ink on paper, 24x29.7cm


Olivia Plender, Machine Shall be the Slave of Man but We Will Not Slave for the Machine, 2006-07
installation, mixed media, work station, video, drawings, fabric costumes, banner, diorama
installation view, Tate Triennial


Olivia Plender, Ken Russell in Conversation with Olivia Plender, 2007
installation, mixed media installation, video, props, furniture


Olivia Plender, A Stellar Key to the Summerland, 2007
drawing, ink on paper, 2*21x29cm

'Monitor' is a reconstruction of 'Private View', a television programme screened in 1960 as part of the BBC’s original arts series. It is intended as a self-reflexive gesture, questioning the role of artists and art institutions within society.


Olivia Plender, Monitor, 2006
performance installation view, Tate Britain, photo Christian McDonald

Set in an imaginary London avant-garde of the past, this comic series interrogates the popular myths and clichés surrounding Bohemianism and the 'genius' figure. The main character is Nick, an unrecognised painter trying to negotiate his way to success in the stifling atmosphere of the swinging 1960s.


Olivia Plender, The Masterpiece, issue 1, Strange Adventures, 2001-06
drawing, serial graphic novel