Olivia trained as an art historian specialising in medieval art, completing a Masters at the Courtauld Institute, London. Throughout her academic career she has independently developed her skills as a portrait and figurative painter. Working in oil, she explores the expression of emotion and mental states via the body, rendered in brushwork that is vigorous, masculine and highly distinctive. The works are direct and uncompromising in their effect.
Similarly, Olivia’s portraits exploit an acute understanding of the sitter’s face to represent unique character traits and individuality. Her work is unflinching in its truthfulness, painted rapidly with energy.
More recent work sees a greater experimentation with media; she almost never works from a blank white canvas, preferring to dye the raw canvas at the earliest stages of construction, resulting in work that is multi layered. By experimenting with unusual pigments and dyestuffs such as wine or cigar ash, the work itself gradually evolves in tone as the dyes decay.
- Royal Commonwealth Society, London, June – August 2012.
- Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Competiton, Kings Place Gallery London, October – November 2011.
- Lady Sandra Presents at the New Cavendish Club London, October – November 2011.
- Across Land and Sea, Chinawhite, Oxford Street London, September 2011.
- East Wing IX, The Courtauld Institute, London, September 2009 – February 2011.
- The Arts Club, Dover Street, Mayfair London, January 2010.
- Corpus by HRL Contemporary, St. Johns Wood London, September 2009.