Artist Abi Ogle is definitely in her element. As a recent college graduate, she has racked up quite the portfolio in just a few months including creating an amazing Vintage Vogue installation piece for our Art Issue Launch Party. Since then, Abi has been traveling around the country showing her pieces at different shows and even landed an Artist-in-Residence at Chateau d’Orquevaux in France!
Samantha Ripperger: Tell me about yourself.
Abi Ogle: My family moved around a lot as a kid, so I grew up as someone who was curious and ever ready to travel. Though I had no formal training before attending college, I encountered several generous people in my life who encouraged me creatively — including my incredible parents who let me do things like paint my walls and then paint on my sister to match them. I attended a small liberal arts college on Lookout Mountain, Georgia and graduated May 2018 with a BFA in 2D and 3D arts. That school, Covenant College, was where I studied under Kayb Joseph, MFA and Elissa Weichbrodt, Ph.D., two women who taught me to be a human and maker who is willing to ask hard questions, seek beauty, love deeply and so much more than I can ever fully thank them for!
SR: Do you prefer creating 2D or 3D art? What form of each is your favorite?
AO: I don’t know that I can particularly say that one is my favorite over the other. My work seems to live somewhere in-between. I use both of them depending on what I want the piece I’m working on to convey. I believe honestly that materials that ask the viewer to come closer are really powerful. I really enjoy creating an experience that moves beyond something on a wall. Per 2D, I do love oil paint. It was my first love. 3D really just makes me excited because I love to touch things. There’s something so delicious about texture just begging you to do more than just look at it.
SR: What was it like creating an installation piece for our launch party? Tell me about that process?
AO: It was a really neat experience to have the chance to create an installation for the PATTERN launch party. The conversation began with the deconstruction of the word “pattern”. I am a lover of decorative patterns, of human patterns and of things such as old dress patterns. I really think that materials matter. So, conveniently, one of the things I associated with the idea of “patterns” was a vintage vogue dress pattern. Once I established a starting point, and I saw the space, I decided that the most interesting way to incorporate those things into a visually interesting piece would be to distort the patterns themselves. Give them a new life, as they were originally meant to give life to some other final product. The piece is essentially these paper dress patterns woven, sewn, tied and folded into wire to create a cloud-like structure that floated above as PATTERN people entered the party. Not to mention it was made in conversation with the idea of pushing boundaries with “traditional” views of femininity and creatively. But also the delight of creating new things whether that be life or something some times less earth shattering like clothing. Expression is a large part of our lives — seeing as we do wear clothing everyday, and it is an art. It’s strange as it undulates above the viewer, but it becomes a body of its own made out of pattern for the very thing we clothe ourselves in.
SR: Congratulations on being accepted as an Artist-in-Residence at Chateau d’Orquevaux in France!! What went through your head when you found out? What does this mean for your career?
AO: Thanks! 2019 is definitely the year for residencies! I am at a residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts for the rest of January in Nebraska City, Nebraska. I will be going to the Vermont studio Center for the month of February, the Chateau d’Orquevaux in April, and the Harrison Center for the summer! Wild! It’s such a gift to have the space to make work, to see several beautiful places, and meet so many incredible people. When I found out I was pretty amazed. I have imposter syndrome much of the time, I think, “They’re going to catch me, one of these days and realize I’m just a kid from nowhere.” Every time I have been accepted to something there’s a small voice inside that sort of whispers, “Could I really do this?” I’ve been a part of so many amazing shows and residencies that it blows my mind. For my career, I think it means another step forward. Several artists whom I admire greatly have gone there, and that is a really exciting thing. I certainly haven’t “arrived” anywhere. Everything is a tremendous honor, and the fact that I still have a chance to make work and be a part of the art community gives me hope for the things to come.
SR: Where do you see yourself in five years? What is something you hope to accomplish?
AO: In five years, I will still be a maker — I do not doubt that. I hope to have created some insane installations, to have been kind to the people around me, generous to my viewer, and to be enrolled in (or graduated from) grad school. 2019 already has several installation shows lined up — 2019 ARTFIELDS, a solo installation exhibition at the Harrison Center opening July 5, and a group show at Saks Fifth Ave with several incredible Indianapolis based fiber artists. I hope to have attended more residencies, participated in more shows and created work that is worth looking at.