Ann Olivier


Ann Olivier is a South African artist whose practice is immersed in the visual and symbolic storytelling of liminal spaces in the human experience. Her work borrows from different cultures, mythologies, religions and schools of thought while questioning the fallacy of concreteness, placed or misplaced. Her investigation into these narratives often manifests through the shapeshifting of the archetypal Feminine.

Olivier’s classical approach towards figurative realism is blended with earthly matter such as clay, hematite, bone meal, ash, mica and charcoal. These serve as metaphorical conduits; a return to essence. Her process takes place in the suburban cave through a ceremonial collaboration with the people she paints.  Central to Olivier’s practice is the act of becoming and yet, simultaneously the unbecoming of self.

Ann Olivier previously known as Leanne Olivier (born 1986) currently resides in the Kalahari, Northern Cape. Her artworks have received recognition on multiple platforms and art competitions including: The South African Portrait Awards 2021, 2019 and 2017; the Sasol New Signature’s Competition 2014 and 2008; the Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Awards 2018 and 2015 and the overall winner amongst emerging artists, Art Lovers Gallery in 2014.  Olivier has exhibited extensively in group and solo shows, as well as participating in Art Fairs and travelling exhibitions both locally and abroad, including The Venice Bienalle. She is currently working on a body of paintings and sculptural works for her next solo exhibition. 

“Leanne questions calibrated ideas of assuredness and dogmatic truths. She poses new opportunities of knowing through the act of uncertainty” - Johan Myburg, Taalgenoot (Translated from Afrikaans).

“[...] a game of revealing and concealing” - Johan Myburg, Taalgenoot (Translated from Afrikaans)

“Olivier [...] captures the strength of her subject, with her challenging gaze [...] - Gretha
Kemp, City Press

“Olivier feels it is important for her to keep expanding and experimenting with new
- SA Artist Magazine

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