b. 1980


Based in London, UK


Available for commissions
& assignments

Olivia Arthur was born in London in 1980. She studied mathematics at Oxford University and photojournalism at the London College of Printing. She began working as a photographer in 2003 after moving to Delhi, and was based in India for two and a half years. In 2006, she left for Italy to take up a one-year residency with Fabrica, during which she began working on a series about women and cultural divides. Her first book, Jeddah Diary (2012), follows the lives of young women in Saudi Arabia. Her second book, Stranger (2015), is a journey into Dubai seen through the eyes of the survivor of a shipwreck.

The ways people see themselves and connect to each other are themes Arthur explored in her project about sexuality in India, titled In Private/Mumbai, and through her commissions for Hull, City of Culture, and the Rome Collection about young people and intimacy during Covid. Arthur’s practice has also moved into an examination of the human relationship to the body, people’s physicality and its intersection with technology, working predominantly with large-format portraiture. Arthur gave a TED talk on this subject in 2020. She enjoys exploring different mediums and has made two short films and a children’s book using collage.

Arthur’s work has been exhibited internationally and is included in institutional collections in the UK, USA, Germany, and Switzerland. She is co-founder of Fishbar, a publisher and space for photography in London. She became a member of Magnum Photos in 2013 and in 2020 was elected as its president.

Selected works


Jeddah Diary

Olivia Arthur

Olivia Arthur's book explores the paradoxical world of Saudi Arabia's coastal city of Jeddah

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