Maricelle Olivier is an emerging artist exploring her personal history and creating her own space of belonging through the medium of ceramics. A strong connection to her birthplace of South Africa, along with her formal training in Australia and time spent working at Ernabella Arts, infuses her work with a unique cross-cultural language. Abstracted imagery, colour, pattern, light and shadow are all explored in the forms and surface decoration of her beautiful hand-built vessels. Maricelle’s inspiration weaves together her nostalgic memories of the safari landscape of South Africa, with the vivid colours and patterns of the Australian desert and native birdlife, finding similarities between them. “When I look at my works collectively, I see and feel home”. Her elegant vessels, combined with her intricate line work, are reminiscent of African basketry and woven textiles. The repetitive and meditative nature of Maricelle’s practice is exemplified across all aspects of her making process. She makes and layers each clay coil, then smoothes and joins together sections to build the form and finally follows with the line work and patterns of her surface decoration. The interplay of all these elements creates a stunning visceral experience where, as Maricelle explains, “the vessels transform into embodiments to hold and reflect emotions.”
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Maricelle immigrated to Australia in 2007 and began studying at the National Art School, Sydney in 2014, completing a Master of Fine Art specialising in ceramics in 2018. From 2019 to 2021 she worked as the Ceramics Studio Manager at Ernabella Arts, located in far northwest South Australia. In 2020, Maricelle was a finalist in the inaugural Lake Art Prize in Booragul, NSW. A selection of her works has been acquired by the National Art School and City of Sydney into their collections and her work is held in private collections across Australia, South Africa and Europe.