Photography: Simon Harsent
Brigita Ozolins is an artist and a senior lecturer at the School of Creative Arts and Media, University of Tasmania, where she has been teaching since 2000. Her heritage is Latvian, and she moved from Melbourne to Hobart in 1983.
Brigita has a background in librarianship and arts administration. She completed a BA at Monash University in the 1970s, majoring in the classics, and studied librarianship at the University of Tasmania in the 1980s. She worked for the State Library for several years before becoming an arts administrator for Glenorchy City Council, where she established the Moonah Arts Centre and coordinated events such as Symphony Under the Stars and Carols by Candlelight. After a major accident in 1994, which was a catalyst for reassessing her life, Brigita returned to study at the University of Tasmania's School of Art, graduating with a BFA with First Class Honours, the University Medal and an APA Scholarship in 1999. Brigita completed her PhD in 2004 and her thesis, Searching for the subject: new narratives through installation, was awarded the Dean's commendation.
Since the mid 1990s, Brigita has exhibited in almost 20 solo and 40 group exhibitions within Tasmania, interstate and overseas. Her commissions include large scale projects for David Walsh’s Museum of Old and New Art, Detached Cultural Organisation, The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, the State Library of Tasmania, and the Soros Foundation, Latvia. Brigita has also received numerous artist grants, including the 2008 inaugural Qantas Contemporary Art Award, and Australia Council and Arts Tasmania grants. She has undertaken residencies in New York (2013), Riga (2008), London (2002), Paris (2002), Gorge Cottage in Launceston (2005), and Port Arthur, Tasmania (2007).
Brigita lives with her partner, Gerard Willems, who assists with the construction and engineering of many of her large scale projects. Her son, Simon Ozolins, is a cinematographer based in Sydney.