Olga Davenport first exhibited her paintings at the South African Academy aged 15. A year later, she came to England to study painting, acting and ballet. In 1956, following a successful career as an actor with minor roles in films, she returned to painting.
Davenport’s later work is mainly concerned with the depiction of landscapes and is recognised for the use of gentle, yet dynamic colours which reduce forms to abstracted shapes. She uses broad, fluid brushstrokes of colour to capture the outlines of natural environments. The painted landscapes embody a delicate compromise between the wholly self-involved abstraction of modernist formalism and a fascinations with the experience and representation of the natural world.