IN BARDO | Solo exhibition by Leanne Olivier
RK Contemporary
7 – 28 March 2021



Leanne Olivier. BEHOLD, I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW. 2020. Hematite & oil on canvas. 100x100cm

The Tibetan term “Bardo” refers to an intermediate state; it is the space between the cyclical nature of life / death / life. Whether it is experiencing the loss of a loved one or contemplating our own mortality, ultimately it is about the loss of the illusion of control.

In the moments when we are at our most vulnerable and exposed and cannot negotiate ourselves out of a situation or an experience; there is an interruption in the continuity of things and our compulsive manufacturing of existence stops (hopefully… if we allow it). There exists great potentiality if we can allow things to come undone: The roles we ascribe to ourselves and others are discarded, and the inessential recedes to reveal what is truly essential. The liminal space allows us to move from dualistic living and transfixed by primordial anxiety towards a state of presence where the “swinging pendulum” can be observed more acutely… not dispassionately and without emotion but with a deeper sense of Knowing and clarity about the cyclical nature of things.

I use ash, clay, bones and hematite (bloodstone) as a vehicle and metaphor – physical matter pointing towards the essential (what truly matters) in our collective human experience. It points to the ultimate truth that we all return from whence we came and that it is because of death, that life has meaning.

RK Contemporary, 32 Main Rd, Riebeek Kasteel

Leanne Olivier. SHE RETURNS. 2020. Hematite & Oil on canvas. 200x130cm


Leanne Olivier. River-Beneath-River. 2020. Hematite & oil on canvas. 76 x 76cm


Leanne Olivier. Ophelian Sanctum ii. 2019. Hematite, Bone Meal, Ash & Oil on canvas. 130x100cm


Leanne Olivier. Slip portrait. 2017. Pigment Ink & Oil on Fabriano Oil paper. 65x50cm


Leanne Olivier. STUDY BONE CROWN. 2020. Shiraz pigment pencil on hahnemuhle. 70x50cm