2010 by Olympia Polymeni
Central Saint Martins MA Show; www.olympiapolymeni.com
Polymeni’s work seizes the true potential that lies within the monotone relationship of black and white. All her work is articulated through a dense inky black, with shape manipulated subtly through soft large swells and curves. This yielding articulation stops any of the harsh contrast so easily achieved through black and white, as well as allowing these compositions a deeply organic effect despite their unforgiving colour palette. This is perhaps particularly poignant in Polymeni’s three-dimensional work — sculptures made out of bees wax, the wax made to melt to form these softly lined shapes. This impact and emphasis on material and form is achieved in the two dimensional pieces with the amount of white space these black shapes have to breath in. Surrounded by white the effect is one of a spot, a stain, a centre point; we are made to focus on black in its deliberate and obvious invasion of white. Sarah’s Nipples’ shape takes advantage of this focus, allowing the change of the rounded curve to a determined yet quiet diversion on the left a true presence. This gentle change is pleasing to the viewer, whose automatic tendency to try and recognise form becomes more determined with the composition’s simplicity. Or perhaps we are happy to accept defeat with a shape so uncomplicatedly abstract; indeed, deciphering on the part of the viewer is made all the more intriguing with such a provocative title. There is something contented, restrained but with satisfaction, about Polymeni’s compositions, proving the power of the abstract that lies in its restraining of mirroring reality.