Irene Hardwicke Olivieri: Closer to Wildness
Hardcover Smyth-sewn book, with jacket
152 pages with 144 full-color illustrations
Introductory Essay by Carl Little
Stories and commentary by Irene Hardwicke Olivieri
Size: 9.75 x 9 in.
Irene Hardwicke Olivieri’s enchanting, idiosyncratic, and curiously complex artworks explore the subterranean aspects of life—love and relationships, secrets and obsessions—all the while opening a window to what she calls the “mysterious workshop of nature.” In Irene Hardwicke Olivieri: Closer to Wildness, we witness an artist infinitely inspired by the natural world. Her intricate paintings are laced with knowledge of the cougars, wood rats, caterpillars, and other animal familiars. These lovingly rendered, often-surreal beings allegorize challenges and discoveries encountered on life’s journey. Neither humans nor animals are simple portraits under Olivieri’s brush; her works explore the wildness within and without.
Olivieri’s brief stories offer additional insights into her paintings, drawings, and mosaics. Natural history writings, folk wisdom, and excerpts from family letters open a door into the artist’s unusual world, drawing the reader ever closer to wildness. Carl Little’s introductory essay highlights the artist’s background and delves into her processes, motivations, and revelations.