Olympia Scarry is a Swiss artist. Granddaughter of the children’s book author and illustrator Richard Scarry, she has channeled her artistic heritage into the creation of large-scale sculptures, photographs and performance art. Scarry completed her BA in Psychology in 2007 and her fascination in the subject is a constant driving force in her works focusing on the examination of realty and the self.
While living in New York Scarry worked under Matthew Barney to further learn her practice in working with specific materials. Scarry’s instillation piece ‘The White Feath- er Room’ which gave viewers an experience of exhilaration and which was reminiscent of a heaven- like version of Walter de Maria’s The Earth Room, which was shown at Paradise Row’s PLAY exhibition in 2009 to great critical acclaim. Scarry captures actions and reactions to moments of frustration and boredom and turns them into something tangible in ‘The Marble Bubble Wrap Painting.’
Often Scarry’s objects frustrate our expectations by render- ing habitual urges impossible or by glorifying an involuntary response such a boring ‘Yawn’ or heart rate, creating involuntary drawings out of her pulse rate such as in her polygraph self portrait series. Scarry looks to bring the audiences and herself into conscious form. In creating environments and records of the human touch, Scarry voluntarily allows forms to overpower the psychology, one is inviting the other to lose themselves or rather find ones self again.
Olympia Scarry co-curated ‘Elevation 1049: Between Heaven and Hell,’ a series of site-specific exhibitions created out of the specifics of time and place. Taking place in and above Gstaad, it is comprised exclusively of Swiss artists. Scarry’s work has been exhibited at the MOMA Baku, Barbican in Lon- don, Venice Biennale, a solo at The Conduits in Milan.