Olivia Botha is a multi-disciplinary artist working predominately in video performance, installation, collage and painting. She is interested in concepts of language – how we communicate, and how we are unable to communicate. Through this framework, Botha explores the different ways in which our relationships – with inanimate objects, as well as the animate – affect our lives.
Botha was born in Bloemfontein and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. She holds a Fine Art degree from the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town, where she graduated in 2017. In 2018 Botha received the Cassirer Welz Award, which resulted in a new body of work exhibited at SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg. After her residency at the Bag Factory, she stayed on as a resident artist at the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios. Botha has also participated in numerous group shows, most notably at The African Center in New York, Turbine Art Fair in Johannesburg, ABSA Gallery in Johannesburg and at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare.
In 2018, Botha was a recipient of the Moleskine Foundation Scholarship granting her the opportunity to participate in the AtWork workshop conducted by Simon Njami and Andrew Tshabangu at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare. In 2019, the artist was invited to attend a workshop presented by Penny Siopis as part of Siopis’s residency programme at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Bulawayo.
Her video work, Silence Bleeding, was screened at the Labia Theatre in Cape Town in 2019, and at the International Short Film Festival in CortoLovere, Italy, as part of the Video Art Awards.
Most recently, Botha is the recipient of a 12-month fellowship with the renowned DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program, as well as a 2-month residency at SCAC Marestaing in France, both of which she will undertake during 2021-2022.