Sola Olulode 18th January – 17th February 2024 Berntson Bhattacharjee 45 Berners Street London W1T 3NE
Berntson Bhattacharjee is excited to announce an upcoming solo exhibition by Nigerian-British artistSola Olulode. Olulode will showcase a series of new works that are sure to captivate audiences with their vibrant imagery and narratives.
Throughout history, the expressions of love and gender identity that deviated from the norm were often disregarded or suppressed, and even today, only a handful of well-known stories have gained recognition. However, Greek and Roman mythology provides a vast literary heritage that goes beyond the commonly known narratives. In this extensive body of work, Sola emerges as a storyteller who brings to life whimsical stories from the mythological universe, revitalizing queer gods and non-binary identities through a modern perspective.
In her research, Olulode delves into the historical significance of parks and gardens as safe spaces for LGBTQI+ communities. She references her trips to Barbados, Lagos, Taipei, and other tropical regions, pictorially depicting the landscapes where her characters reside as contemporary “paradises”. enriching the narratives with a deep sense of safety and inclusivity within the broader context of the diverse histories she explores.
Sola is curious about love stories that explore the idea of tragic romances transforming into celestial bodies. Olulode’s artistic inquiry into mythology and constellations has revealed a vast universe filled with narratives. Gods, lovers, and celestial entities converge in these stories, and their names are forever etched into the luminous legacy of love.
Olulode incorporates Nigerian histories and traditions of dying and indigo into her material pursuits. She recognizes the power of dyeing the canvas, using it as a means to infuse her paintings with layers of colour and depth. Olulode skillfully employs various mediums such as wax, batik, oil bar, and impasto to create textured works that pay homage to the profound cultural history that has influenced her art.
In this collection, she introduces new techniques to her artistic repertoire, drawing from insights gained in a recent workshop conducted in Lagos with traditional dyers. She integrates tie-dye techniques, including the intricate “sun and stars” method, into her works, showcasing her commitment to continued learning and mastery of her craft.
Olulode’s upcoming show is a fusion of cultural nuances, historical storytelling, and a keen sense of space. It promises to be a testament to the intricate intersectionality of identity and environment. Through a joyful interweaving of Black Queer representation and a profound conceptual engagement with storytelling, Olulode not only captures the essence of intersectionality but also offers a vibrant tapestry that resonates with the complexities of the human experience.
Sola Olulode at Berntson Bhattacharjee opens on the 18th of January until the 17th of February 2024
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