Emerging artists in the spotlight: Patricia Olazo

Patricia Olazo, Undergrowth

Mature student Patricia Olazo is studying Photography at the Queensland College of Art (QCA). She sat down with us for a Q&A about her studies while her work was on display in the Undergrowth exhibition during O Week.

Patricia Olazo
Patricia Olazo

What has been the best thing about studying Photography at the QCA?

I have found a culture at QCA that openly embraces and nurtures ideas, no matter how crazy they initially sound. As a mature student, I think it’s never too late to blossom in life.

Sharing classes with students who come from diverse faculties is one of the most exciting aspects of my studies. I found that sharing and listening to the point of view of classmates who belong to other disciplines like music, painting, or design, really helps to enrich the whole experience.

I’m always using the print lab, or booking the darkroom or the photography studio to increase my skills and make the most of the equipment and facilities available on campus.

Do you have a mentor or people that have guided you during your time at QCA?

There are so many! But I have a very fond appreciation for the guidance of Dr Renata Buziak, who taught me Photo Concepts and Experimental Practice, and the generous feedback of my Photo Art teacher Dr Martin Smith.

What are your future plans?

I have a goal to produce two exhibitions during 2020. One displaying my current investigations with portraits, and a second one about the notion of impermanence.

Can you explain a little about your work in the undergrowth exhibition?

Undergrowth showcases four enlarged Photograms produced between darkrooms, scanners, and digital colorization. This work comes from the urge to challenge my way of approaching the representation of self-portraits, and it also marks the beginning of an unexpected love affair with a cameraless photography techniques.

Each image is elaborate, using my saliva, sweat and blood. These intimate body elements were exposed to light, transforming the myriad of molecular particles and traces of myself across the sensitized photography paper indexing my DNA and turning an initial blank paper into a self-portrait.


At Griffith, we recognise that not everyone comes to university straight from high school. Whether returning to university after a few years off, starting study for the first time, or looking for a postgraduate degree to further your career, there’s a study path to suit you.

Find out more about your study options at one of our Mature Student Open Evenings or discover more about Photography at the Queensland College of Art.

The Undergrowth exhibition is on display in the QCA Galleries Webb Gallery on our South Bank campus until 4 pm Saturday 22 February.