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Susie OIczak | Remnants of a Melting World


Edition: 15 + 2 AP

Size: 30cm x 42cm 

Print Only (Please contact us if you would like to add a frame - 


Artist Statement

The intention of my work is to make people more aware of the spaces around them by framing the details that are often overlooked when moving through transitory spaces. For example, the way that light flickers in-between railings when you move past. I focus on the points in which there is a discrepancy between what we think we see and what we are actually seeing. In my sculptures, reflective surfaces to make up a whole or the form changes as the viewer walks around.

I use architectural materials- neon, stone, glass, concrete and steel combined to consider urban space as systems comprised of balance, weight, and fragility. I investigate our relationship with the built environment and how this is changing with today’s times. We are polarised between altering states of flux and the tension of uncertainty and stability. I do this by creating works that are precariously or imposingly balanced on one point, by using more fragile materials to prop up heavier mass, or by unusual combinations of materials like submerging neon into water.

Underpinning the work are themes of, time, climate change and urban development constructed around the context of new technologies and post digital culture. I am interested in the ever-increasing reliance on technology, and in the flaws and details within it. I have been making work about how virtual space is navigated or that highlights when the machine has taken over and caused errors or glitches in the materials.

I am interested in the way that natural phenomena such as water and light affect our experience of the world around. Water represents the passing of time. In my current research, I am focusing on the importance of water within cities and in the duality between it being a beautiful material that is difficult to control and something that is increasingly more threatening.


The work proposed is a formal response to the word ALIGN due to the composition. Light and water are key aspects of the photograph. It is an image created during my time at the RCA from my recent research trip to Iceland, which was made possible through being awarded a travel grant from Villiers David at the RCA. It is of the Diamond Beach in the south of Iceland which is an incredibly beautiful but sad place as the ice melts from the glacier, breaks away into a lagoon, where it sits majestically. It continues to fragment, floats down to the sea and is then washed up onto the black volcanic shoreline. There it sits, glistening in the sun that is to be its own demise, never to be reformed again. I hope that this image highlights the fragmenting and shifting ice form and gives a sense of the magnitude of this climatic problem.


Susie Olczak (b. 1988, Cambridge), lives and works in London.  Olczak graduated with a BA Honours in Fine Art, Sculpture and Environmental Art from the Glasgow School of Art in 2010 and from MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 2019. 
Susie Olczak is a multidiscplinary artist with a focus on sculpture. Her work asks the viewer to look again at the world around. It is about the perception of geometry, pattern and light while moving through transitory spaces, such as corridors, underpasses and the walkways between buildings. Her work has been shown internationally in Japan and the USA. She has exhibited around the UK and attended residencies in Finland and Singapore. In 2018 she participated in a workshop with the RCA at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, was awarded a scholarship to attend the Summer Art Academie in Venice and the Villiers David Travel Grant for a research trip to Iceland. Olczak was a bursary award winner at the Royal Society of Sculptors in 2016. Public art commissions include work for King’s College, Jesus College, Peterhouse College and the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, for BBC Scotland, The Cambridge Institute of Astronomy, Charles Saatchi at the Big Chill Festival and The National Trust.