Olivia Tawzer is an artist living in Chattanooga, TN. Her work addresses the topics of southernness, family, gender roles, memory, and grief, with painting and sculpture being her main mediums. She often draws from her family members' stories or personal experiences to create her narratives.
Olivia graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in the spring of 2021 with a BFA in Painting and Drawing. She is a contributor for Mineral House Media, a digital residency that offers artists in and beyond the southeast a platform to share work, conducts and publishes interviews, and invites participants to have work in a group show. She works as a tattoo artist in downtown Chattanooga and runs Grief Garden Tattoo Project, where participants receive a memorial tattoo while talking about who it is for.
In my work, I depict scenes and situations about people living in the southern United States. Like every region, the south carries many political and societal connotations, which I examine from within. I think about masculinity and femininity; I think about guns, politics, family, and my southern heritage; I think about animals, our relationships to them as predators, masters, and parents, and I think about caregiving in general. I strive for my work to be non-judgmental yet aware of the problems portrayed through it. Polarizing and complex topics are often talked about in black and white terms with no consideration of the grey areas. When met with opposition to our beliefs, it can be easy to disregard differing opinions without trying to find any middle ground— the only place where productive conversation and human connection can occur. Within my work, I aim to depict scenes that elicit an immediate judgment of those portrayed but allow you to change your mind: moments where we wrestle with what we believe is right.