Olivia Tawzer is an artist living in Chattanooga, TN. Her work addresses the topics of southernness, family, gender, and grief. With painting and sculpture being her main mediums, she often draws from family 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 platform that offers digital residencies, conducts interviews, and invites residents to participate in an annual group show. She works as a licensed tattoo artist in downtown Chattanooga where she runs Grief Garden Tattoo Project, which aims to create a space to talk about loss and leave participants with a portable personal memorial.
In my work, I depict scenes of 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, and family; 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 wary of the problems portrayed through it. Polarizing and complex topics are often discussed 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 or familiarity of those portrayed but allow you to change your mind: moments where we wrestle with what we believe is right.