Olivia's work is largely anthropological, exploring the nature of conflict and the way in which two or more opposing groups, and thus two or more different cultures, can occupy the same physical space. In many ways, she considers herself more an anthropologist than a traditional artist, choosing to express her research and discoveries through art rather than language.
Although she first trained solely as a photographer, Olivia now also works with video, sound, collage, and text. She often draws on themes relating to both personal and cultural identity, an approach that has developed since 2008, when her initial work based around the civil war in Ireland was exhibited in Oxford. Since then, Olivia has exhibited in locations such as New York, London, Belfast, Cape Town, and Plymouth.
She recently returned from an extended research trip to the Middle East funded by the Beatrix Antje van der Stel Grant, marking the first time the grant has ever been awarded to a non-South African artist. During the trip, which involved travelling extensively within Israel, the Gaza Strip, Egypt, the West Bank, and Syria, she took a very large quantity of photographs and video, and will spend the course of her residency at DAS in the process of editing the work and preparing it for publication.