Oliver Herbert is an artist working in London, UK.


I'm fanatical about collecting images. Old in-flight magazines, video snippets from Youtube, vintage Argos catalogues and travel brochures are some of the places where my ideas come from.  

My work is about what we define culture as, how it can be destructed and how it can be transformed.  I find the metamorphosis and the space between culture and it's representation in images extremely exciting.

Having grown up in a Cheshire village, the son of a vicar I'm interested in both the disruption and affirmation of tradition within place and space. The symbolism and coding that go in hand with how we present who we are and where we are from is what has fascinated me. This was very much part and parcel of village life.

As a child I also ferociously pursued a hobby of plane spotting and the study of airline liveries. Endless afternoons were spent at Manchester Airport viewing park.  There was something magical about watching a canary yellow Sudan Airways DC10  touchdown, from the rainy car park of the plane spotters pub. Both passengers and machines transplanted almost instantly in the Northwest of England from exotic cultures.

I like to play with incongruity within my work, challenging the viewer to question how they percieve culture and a broarder sense of identity.  To produce my work I often create narritives which put people in  situations designed to disrupt either a sense of liberalism or bigotry - the artworks become a waste product from these situations and narratives.

In recent works I've been fascinated by Leni Riefenstahl's photographs in the Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania and with the now extinct Nuba tribes. Riefenstahl (Helene Riefenstahl) was a German dancer, actress, and film director best known for her imposing propaganda films in support of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party.  I see Riefenstahl's images in her Africa series as beautiful yet problematic, her motives are questionable given her Nazi links. I've chosen to combine imagery from 1950's gemstone catalogues which present vivid natural resources traded globally, often and importantly with uncertain origins.



I collaborate with Ed Simpson as part of PLAZA, a project focused on looking at public spaces and how they affect those who inhabit them. Past projects have included the creation of an audio guide that took the listener on a tour of the Westfield shopping mall in Shepherd’s Bush, London (2011), and a guided tour of an imagined skyscraper in Deptford Market for Depford X (2011).

If you are interested in purchasing any artworks, you can do so through the 'shop' section of this website, or at SUPERMERCADO - an online brand I've created in collaboration with Jose Campos.

If you have any questions about my practice, please do not hesitate to get in contact via oliverherbert@hotmail.com.