In her previous work, British-Nigerian artist Sola Olulode has explored the relations of QTIBPOC (Queer Trans Intersex Black People & People of Colour) and their nightlife experiences: dancing, connecting and collective joy.
In her latest series of paintings, Where the Ocean Meets the Beach, she continues this theme of looking at queerness and black identity through the lens of social interactions, but this time focuses on the 'honeymoon' phase of romance.
On show at V.O. Curations in London from 13 February, the paintings delve into intimacy, courtship, and the complicity of dating.
The diptych Loving You is Like Living on a Wave represents Olulode's experimentation with the Adire technique, a dyed textile made by the Yoruba people in Nigeria. The melted wax on the indigo canvas creates patterns that evoke the tranquil rhythm of the waves, gliding over the lovers, drifting away to serene waters.
"From the deep tones that echo the atmosphere and the intimacy of nighttime to the warmer hues that veil day-to-day interactions, the exhibition explores love as a protective barrier, a refuge from the misrepresentation and the confinement within a heteronormative ideal that both denies and depreciates queer relationships," says the gallery.
Taken from artist Travis Alabanza's poem The Sea, the show's title refers to Alabanza's feeling on gender fluidity as a boundless place similar to "where the ocean meets the beach". Following on from Alabanza's sentiment, Olulode depicts the fluidity of emotions that we all experience when falling in love. A fine art graduate from the University of Brighton, Sola Olulode was recently shortlisted for the Evening Standard Art Prize. She is currently enjoying a three-month residency at V.O. Curations, a contemporary gallery, residency and studio programme based between London and Paris, founded in 2018 by Zina Vieille and Nnamdi Obiekwe.