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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
For me, Being Human means the complexity and challenge behind trauma and the healing process.
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.
Honestly, cuddling my ginger cat Thyme, painting and recharging in solitude.
Don’t take things too seriously, paint more and say no more often.