Oliver Needs has been painting from a young age. It is a way of expressing himself today but also like writing leaves a mark and message to others in the future. ”To paint is to be free”.
Oliver studied BA Fine Art at University of East London, having done a Foundation year at Chelsea School of Art over which period he met with a variety of contemporary artists. Grayson Perry attended Final Degree Show but Gavin Turk visited and was influential and interesting to meet. Richard Wilson and a variety of other contemporary artists were often involved with art projects with East London University at the same time. Also grateful to Tim Allen artist for his help as well as Suzan Swale artist whose life painting groups I immensely enjoyed and learnt from. Douglas Druce and Anne Dowker both excellent teachers whom I picked up tips from over the years. Many others who cannot be mentioned now but have been of great inspiration and to whom he is grateful.
Oliver Needs tries to look inside himself to express an experience or thoughts he has had and is also very interested in the everyday world we live in. He expresses this with a variety of colours this often including symbols, figures and words of particular importance to him at that moment. He is exploring and hopes his art helps others to take a moment to explore themselves and the world around us.
London is an inspirational city, for Oliver Needs with such a variety of cultures and people to meet and learn from. However Oliver over the years returns and enjoys regular trips to France, Italy, Spain, Argentina and USA. These places too must be of strong influence in his art work.
He has a strong interest in psychology. Consciousness and unconsciousness. He enjoys looking at Native American symbols and also Mandalas. Interestingly the psychoanalyst Carl Jung saw the mandala as a “representation of the unconscious self” and believed that by painting in this way one could work towards identifying emotional disorders and therefore work towards wholeness in personality.
It is also said that a mandala is a term used for any plan which represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically, a microcosm of the universe from the human perspective. This is very relevant to Olivers’ work, just as Anthony Gormley has talked out about the influences of his travels in Asia and Buddhism in his work.
Oliver Needs frequently exhibits throughout all areas of London but has in Europe and America too. Twitter or Facebook are ideal to keep track of his upcoming shows. Most recently Oliver has been in numerous shows on and around Brick Lane as well several in and around Hoxton and Hoxton Square. Hyde Park Corner / Grosvenor Place University of Economics Restaurant. South Kensington Bars and restaurants. Victoria and Albert Museum staff restaurant. Also growing up near Shephards Bush Oliver frequently shows in a variety of galleries and other venues around West London too. “I hope my art can be accessible and enjoyed by all!”