Oska was born on the Pacific North West coast of America and spent the first ten years of her life submerged in the hippy counterculture. Resurfacing, her formative years were spent in New England and East Coast cities.
Oska’s foremost influences come from comics, punk, Hitchcock, and German Expressionism. Her work is often described as being somewhere between George Grosz and Robert Crumb; hard bitten and dirty. She bought a one way ticket to London and settled in Hackney in 1993 and has lived in St. Leonards on Sea for the past eight years which she finds to be a constant source of inspiration.
“My work conjoins the hard physical nature of woodcut with the flow and expression of the narrative. The constraints placed on the artist within this medium allows for a deliberate and meticulous approach that intensifies the final image and imbues the work with a tension that is suitable for the subject matter.
The challenge for me has been to create work that conveys my interest in repeated imagery and movement through forms of narrative structure that are not prohibited by the difficulties inherent in the woodcut.
I am particularly interested in the notion of personal histories- the mythologising of individual experience – and the idea that our personas are a construction of many influences that affect our lives.
The effect that film has on our culture is paramount to my work and I am interested in the idea of the filmic imagination that surreptitiously replaces personal memories with freeze frame imagery.
This was a series I made called “she came from the woods”. I intertwined Thoreau’s Walden with Charles Bukowski’s novel Women with a post-apocalyptic scenario in which devolution is essential and the women are returning back to nature and indeed the woods at a much faster rate than the men creating a sexual drama, Kitchen sink outdoors. My work is narrative based but this is a suggested narrative I very much want my audience to arrive at their own conclusions. I draw my inspiration from film, the media, iconography, I read too much, and I travel constantly. I try to fill my mind up like a pressure cooker and then draw upon this to form new stories. Olivia Plender, Paula Rego, and Nancy Spero are some of my heroes and of course German Expressionism is close to my heart.”