Olivia Evans is a grant-awarded, multidisciplinary visual artist based in Spokane, WA, working in video, photography, drawing, and film. In 2018, she graduated from Eastern Washington University with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art and a minor in film. Her work is heavily influenced by motherhood, the subconscious, nature, and social events — intertwining traditional and digital media to create narratives of the self. All these influences echo her eclectic cultural experiences of growing up in an economically challenged home with her Italian mother and in 2007 (once parents remarried), being reunited with her African American/Native American father.
Olivia is working with The Alliance for Media, Arts, & Culture as a local producer and social media manager. She co-produced the documentary film series Monday Movies at the Magic Lantern Theater, Native Arts & Film Events, and co-curates numerous events in the Pacific Northwest region. She actively participates in the Alliance National Youth Media Network activities and within her art community in Spokane. Her work has been featured in several student exhibitions, Saturate, a city-wide arts event in Spokane, at the Kress Gallery, Terrain 12 (2019), a large exhibition that features over 200+ artists in the PNW.
As a mother, I have come to terms with having two living bodies develop inside me, feed off my nutrients, and be cut out of my stomach. What was once the essence of myself was now in physical form, staring at me and looking at me for answers, while I was still collecting what remained. It can be easy for people to hide behind their physical form.
In my work, I investigate our relationship with our subconscious, as well as the significance of movement relative to these fragmented states of mind. Within cultural elements, personal experiences, and recognition of gestural transitions are attached. For instance, the gestural use of walking that offers a meditative bind between the walker’s mind and body. Walking is a recurring theme in most indigenous cultures.
In my video work, I use frame by frame stop motion animations and drawing to create narratives based on personal situations and contemplations. Using inanimate objects, drawings, photographs, and silhouettes to help aid these ideas gives me freedom to choose a route that fits within the situation. In film, I comment on cultural and social meaning, and the sometimes clash of the two. In my still photography projects, I elaborate more on the misconception of memories, our reliance on subconscious thought, and the relevance of the people who we hold dear in our lives.
Our upbringing and cultural background are a huge factor in this. When entering the subconscious, one runs into their innermost desires and memories that convey an intense feeling of nostalgia. We attach these events constantly to our lives to assure ourselves that change is or is not happening – a comfort food to fuel our future endeavors. It’s natural to want to turn back time and relive certain snippets of the past. Is it possible to fully regain that sense of clarity, or is the inevitability of change going to constantly keep us on our toes?