Although furniture is usually considered to be a minor art or craft, many artists throughout history have involved themselves in the design and/or construction of furniture. Provocative questions are raised concerning the boundaries between art and craft by an exhibition such as this, and the catalogue which accompanies the exhibition addresses some of them.
Grace Thompson, Assistant Curator for this exhibition, describes Oliver’s work:
“Each piece is thoughtfully created by the artist to best fulfill its functional intent but, accepting the functional aspect as a given, in its viewing, it is firstly an aesthetically satisfying experience. The furniture he makes possesses attributes that go beyond mere technical display to qualify as an art form, involving creative action.”