Olivia Mroz Headshot

Olivia Mroz Headshot

New Photographers: Q&A with Olivia Mròz


Olivia’s practice is self-reflexive and examines themes surrounding identity, sex, queerness and the interconnectedness of the emotional state and trauma. A large portion of her work speaks to transgenerational trauma, the church, her Polish background and Parts Psychology. Olivia is paired with New Zealand based artist, Ann Shelton as her mentor. Ann was commissioned in PHOTO 2021 as part of the Metro Tunnel Creative Program.

Hello Olivia, please start by telling us something about yourself that is not in your bio.

I work in an ethical erotica company where I am head of the stills department. My role involves editing, curating and managing the site. We receive self-shot amateur submissions worldwide where we encourage the contributor to be creative with their submissions. I fell into my job by chance and I absolutely love it!


What inspired you to work with photography?

As a child, I developed a keen interest in working with photography as an attempt to connect with myself and others. Photography acted as a means to try to develop my emotional language.

Image: Olivia Mròz, [Baba Jaga] from the series [Lalka]. Courtesy the artist.

Image: Olivia Mròz, Baba Jaga from the series Lalka. Courtesy the artist.

How would you describe your practice? Can you explain your artistic process?

Distortion, erasure and the ability to work instantaneously on my phone are reoccurring and important elements within my work. My artistic process involves layers of re-photographing and re-working of images. In one word, my practice is grounding.

What can people expect to see from you at PHOTO 2022’s New Photographers exhibition?

My current explorations are within the realms of identity, sex, queerness and connection. The works are manipulated through layers of erasure and distortion allowing the figures to become dismembered and stretched beyond their boundaries – such act of skewing something from presupposed conceptions of the figure, or traditional modes of viewing the body, nudging into something deeper than skin. Creating relationships that are unnerving, and deal with skin as a site for transformation, as a site that is permeable, not fixed.


A large part of my human experience has been unpacking and healing from complex trauma by creating artwork related to my experience with the umbrella term of trauma. And as of recently I have been moving through a new period of growth and awareness; this growth and awareness bringing spotlight to my current exploration of sexuality. Sexuality connecting to queer identity and its relation to sexual expression, liberation, connection and transformation.

Where do you draw inspiration for your work from?

I draw inspiration from whatever is most influential in my life at the time. At the moment themes of queerness, sex, connection and liberation are the most in focus.

Image: Olivia Mròz, Grand Mal from the series Lalka.

What does the PHOTO 2022 theme Being Human mean to you?

For me, Being Human means the complexity and challenge behind trauma and the healing process.

As part of the New Photographers program you have been paired with Ann Shelton as your mentor. Can you let us know why you are excited about connecting with them and what you are hoping to gain from the mentorship?

What really excites me about connecting with Ann Shelton is her rich background in challenging the viewer with her exploration of histories. I feel it is a great pairing where I hope to be further challenged contextually and visually to understand my work on an even deeper level.

Image: Ann Shelton, [an invitation to dance] (detail), 2020.

Image: Ann Shelton, an invitation to dance (detail), 2020.

When you are not working, what do you enjoy doing most?

Honestly, cuddling my ginger cat Thyme, painting and recharging in solitude.

What advice would you give to your 15 year-old self?

Don’t take things too seriously, paint more and say no more often.

Founding Partners
  • Bowness Family Foundation
  • Naomi Milgrom Foundation
Major Government Partners
  • City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program
  • Creative Victoria
Major Partners
  • Maddocks

PHOTO Australia respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands upon which we work and live, and the rich and diverse Indigenous cultures across what is now called Australia. For over 60,000 years, Indigenous arts and culture have thrived on this sacred land, and we honour Elders and cultural leaders past and present. This was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.

01–24 March