University of Brighton Fine Art graduate Sola Olulode named 1 of 10 Artists To Watch

Artist Sola Olulode in front of her painting Laying in the Grass

Fine Art graduate Sola Olulode’s works and exhibitions

University of Brighton Fine Art graduate Sola Olulode has been named one of 10 Artists To Watch by influential international magazine New African.

An artist of British Nigerian heritage, Sola graduated from University of Brighton’s highly-regarded Fine Art BA (Hons) course in 2018. She was shortlisted for the Evening Standard Art Prize the same year.

New African highlighted Sola’s work exhibited at 1-54, the first and only international art fair dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora, which was held at London’s Somerset House last week.

Sola’s exhibition appearances in 2021 included Bold Black British at Christie’s in London, Stäying Alive at Berntson Bhattacharjee in Sweden, plus An Infinity of Traces at London’s Lisson Gallery. Other shows include 2020’s Blacklisted: An Indefinite Revolution at London’s Alice Black Gallery.

Sola Olulode’s visions celebrate relationships that place a utopian spin on queer sexuality, whose population of Black women and non-binary folk exude warmth, tenderness and joy. The mediums she uses include natural dye, batik, wax, ink, pastel and oil bar.

Olulode was featured in Artsy’s 2021 Portrayals of Black Joy campaign, which saw her work Laying In The Grass II appear on public screens on the transit systems of several US cities.

Fellow Fine Art graduate Miranda Forrester

Speaking to She Curates about what needs to be changed in the art world, Sola said: “So much, starting from the top. It drastically needs to change the type of work it values over others, and continually be asking who are we leaving out of the conversation and how are we going to change this?”

When asked about her favourite practising artists, Sola namechecked fellow University of Brighton Fine Art graduate Miranda Forrester. Like Sola, Miranda describes her work as exploring the queer black female gaze in painting, seeking to address the long time invisibility of black women in the traditional history of art.

Since graduating in 2019, Miranda has enjoyed exhibitions in the UK, Switzerland and Nigeria, as well as designing interior fabrics for the recently opened Brighton outpost of global members’ club Soho House.

Sola Olulode on Instagram: @solaolulode

Miranda Forrester on Instagram: @miranda_forrester

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