Olivia Steele — Nothing Is What It Seems at Circle Culture Gallery, Hamburg

Olivia Steele
Control, 2014
neon inside stainless steel infinity mirror box
60 x 100 x 14 cm
Courtesy of Circle Culture Gallery
Photo, Uwe Walter

BerlinArt & Culture

In the Dark

Neon artist Olivia Steele's travels have left her with more questions than answers...

Socrates hit the nail on the head with his paraphrased paradox that the only thing he knew was that he knew nothing. Artist Olivia Steele would seem to sympathise with the wily old Greek – her physical and spiritual travels have left her with, she says, more questions than answers, and the confusion just seems to grow and grow. What has come out of all this soul-searching though is her belief that “nothing is what it seems”, and that’s the title of Steele’s latest exhibition at Circle Culture Gallery, Hamburg.

The collection is comprised of a series of photographs and her latest neon sign installations. Normally associated with urban commercial businesses, the American’s neon messages are displayed in all manner of unusual locations, creating an interesting jarring between environment and message. Steele also pairs her neon with found objects and photographs; with her neon on aluminium work Wish You Were Here she has won the prize for least inviting travel postcard ever, and there is some wry humour to be found amongst the philosophical angst. Recently previewed in a public exhibition, Nothing Is What It Seems is open by appointment at the Hamburg gallery until 13 September.

Olivia Steele — Nothing Is What It Seems at Circle Culture Gallery, Hamburg

Olivia Steele
If Time Is Money I Have No Time, 2014
sign letters, wood, LED
110 x 199 x 4,5 cm
Courtesy of Circle Culture Gallery
Photo, Uwe Walter

Olivia Steele — Nothing Is What It Seems at Circle Culture Gallery, Hamburg

Olivia Steele
For Sale By Owner, 2013
hand blown and coloured neon tubes on vintage map
200 x 200 x 9 cm

Olivia Steele — Nothing Is What It Seems at Circle Culture Gallery, Hamburg

Olivia Steele
Wish You Were Here, 2013
neon tubing on photograph on aluminium
115 x 90 x 12 cm

Olivia Steele — Nothing Is What It Seems at Circle Culture Gallery, Hamburg

Olivia Steele
For nothing is what it seems, 2014
Courtesy of Circle Culture Gallery

Olivia Steele — Nothing Is What It Seems at Circle Culture Gallery, Hamburg

Olivia Steele
Portrait courtesy of Circle Culture Gallery
Photo, Paul Khera

Olivia Steele — Nothing Is What It Seems at Circle Culture Gallery, Hamburg

Olivia Steele
Photo, Muriel Liebmann for 81 hours
Courtesy of Circle Culture Gallery

Olivia Steele — Nothing Is What It Seems at Circle Culture Gallery, Hamburg

Olivia Steele
Lets Go Get Lost, 2012
hand blown and coloured neon tubing
30 x 130 cm

Olivia Steele — Nothing Is What It Seems at Circle Culture Gallery, Hamburg

Olivia Steele
Thinking Of You, 2012
neon tubing on photograph on aluminium
180 x 146 x 10 cm

Olivia Steele — Nothing Is What It Seems at Circle Culture Gallery, Hamburg

Olivia Steele
Conflict & Interest, 2014
hand blown and coloured neon tubes and broken mirror glass
courtesy of Circle Culture Gallery
Photo, Uwe Walter

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