Olivia Dilks

September - December 2020

'Escape'

'The tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy’.

Being in nature is the first thing I crave when I feel negative emotions. This body of work is about how nature offers us an accessible escape from our stress, loss, fear, grief or just the monotony of life. It celebrates nature’s ability to rebalance us and make us feel safe, yet free, grounded, calm and often awe-inspired. 

Covid has stopped so much travel being possible but art is a way we can stay connected to nature and exploration, even when it's physically not possible.

Having not painted on canvas since high school, my creative journey was reignited after healing from my inevitable ‘escape’ from a toxic relationship and rebuilding my life as a single mother. In those moments of shock, stress and fear, nature was my comfort and my escape, in particular, being close to water. I moved from the bush, back to the beach where I re-established my support network and strived to be the best mother I could be, while dealing with a family court custody battle and a relentless attack on my efforts as a mother.

The sad realisation that my life had taken this unfortunate turn left me thinking “well…anything is possible then”! Slowly, I crawled my way out of ‘survival mode’ and into what felt like a normal existence. Adversity had made me grow into a stronger and braver person. It expanded my mind to new possibilities and opportunities. I started to believe in myself and be true to myself which manifested in my desire to create my best life and that included pursuing painting again. 

These works include landscapes and nature studies, most of which feature water. I paint in acrylics and enjoy using a limited yet vibrant colour palette which gives my work a slightly fantasy-like feel.

Olivia Dilks