Image of Olivia Isabel Smith

Artist Works

  • Image of OS Lichen Earrings (2)

    Olivia Isabel Smith

    OS Lichen Earrings (2)

  • Image of OS Earrings – Taumutu

    Olivia Isabel Smith

    OS Earrings – Taumutu

Artist Biography

Olivia Isabel Smith
When she was sick

“Who swam ere rivers were begun,
Immense, of fishy form and mind,
Squamous, omnipotent, and kind;
And under that Almighty Fin,
The littlest fish may enter in.”
Excerpt – Rupert Brooke ‘Heaven’
Works about self reflection and found objects.
Explored through oil paintings and jewellery.



My works are currently an exploration into how we arrange and organise objects. Also the idea of collections and collecting as a human. It seems to me as a way of finding identity but also to perhaps nest or store memories and ‘wealth’, or what we perceive to be worthy and beautiful. I am interested in the New Zealand landscape, having collected all the shells and rocks I use in my works from local beaches and rivers. I am also thinking about shrines, the human body (feminine forms in particular) and time.


Olivia Isabel Smith is a Ōtautahi based artist working across diverse media including painting, jewellery and sculpture. She graduated with a BFA from Ilam in 2016. Smith’s practice is centred upon objects from home and nature and their role within a history of still life painting. A desire to collect mixed with the search for identity and meaning.

Selected solo exhibitions –

Still Dreaming, Art Hole, 336 St Asaph Street, Christchurch, 2019

MIMIC, Absolution Tattoo and Gallery Studio, The Tannery, 3 Garlands Road, Woolston, 2017

Selected group exhibitions –

Ilam Fine Arts Graduates, Chambers Art Gallery, 2021

ZONTA Female Art Awards, Ashburton Art Gallery, 2021

Beholding Becoming, Art Hole (Previously Next Gallery), Christchurch, 2020

Perspective Perceptive, Next Gallery, 336 St Asaph Street, Christchurch, 2018

WE/I, Chambers Art Gallery, 2018

Making Space, Living room (It’s Only Natural) with The Social, CoCA, 66 Gloucester Street, Christchurch, 2017

Christchurch Emerging Artists Show, The Piano, 156 Armagh Street, Christchurch, 2017

Partial, Chambers Art Gallery, 80 Durham Street South, Sydnham, Christchurch, 2017

Foundations, SoFA Gallery, 2016

Select 16, SoFA Gallery, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, 2016


Grants & Awards –

Scholarship from the Malvern Community Arts Council, Te Huanui Gallery, Darfield, 2011


Education –

Bachelor of Fine Arts Majoring in Oil Painting, School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, 2016

Artist Exhibitions

  • 14th Jun 2023 - 1st Jul 2023: Gareth Brighton, Olivia Smith, Chloe Summerhayes

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  • 05th May 2021 - 29th May 2021: Ilam fine Arts Graduates Group Exhibition

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  • 29th May 2018 - 16th Jun 2018: Partial

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