Olivia Brouwer is an interdisciplinary emerging artist born in Hamilton, Ontario, now based in Cambridge, Ontario. In 2016, she graduated from the Art and Art History joint program, specializing in painting and printmaking, at the University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan College Institute of Technology. Since then, her work has been exhibited in a number of shows across Southern Ontario, some of which include the Blackwood Gallery, the Idea Exchange, and the Robert Kananaj Gallery in collaboration with Emerging Young Artists. She was a recent recipient of the Centre Emerging Artist Residency program, the Artist Residency program at the Cotton Factory, and the 2022 Femme Folks Fest Residency. She was one of 52 finalists for the 2021 Salt Spring National Art Prize, an award winner of the City of Hamilton Creator Award, as well as one of 5 finalists for the JRG Emerging Artist Award.
As a partially blind artist, Brouwer explores the idea of blindness through her art, melding organic and geometric abstraction with scenes inspired by natural organisms and spiritual teachings relating to vision from both a metaphorical and literal sense. Inspired by the Rorschach Inkblot Test, she addresses blindness by examining ideas surrounding belief, meaning, clarity, and sight with an abstract image. Her most recent work explores visual art accessibility and the activation of human senses beyond the reliance of vision, such as touch and sound, enabling an inclusive experience for both visually impaired and sighted viewers.
They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.