Abi Ola’s art practice centres around family portraiture and patterns. Originally, she used to paint the details of the figures’ faces. However, over time, she became more interested in the patterns on their clothes. More recently, she has been exploring the use of emojis alongside traditional African textile motifs, and British floral designs by popular artists such as William Morris. Abi Ola’s patterns go beyond two dimensional paintings as they find their way onto the interior design of buildings, clothes, and skin. Ultimately, Abi Ola is collecting a plethora of symbols to create her own vocabulary of patterns. These are then used to express through her own made-up language of her experience of the world, as a black British female artist.
Abi Ola gained her BFA from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2019, and MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, in 2021. Recent exhibitions include ‘New Contemporaries’, a group exhibition at South London Gallery; ‘All Are Gone The Old Familiar Faces’, a solo show with Flatland Projects, Battle, 2022; ‘Love At A Distance’, a solo show as part of the Bloomsbury Festival Art Prize, 2020-21; a duo show with Ilke Cop at the VCRB Gallery, Belgium 2022; and The Slade School of Fine Art’s 150th Anniversary exhibition, 2021-22.