Kemi Onabulé

Onabulé works across a wide range of media drawing on her rich Greek, English and Nigerian heritage to present us with a diverse awareness that spans history and the present whilst also looking to the future. She expertly voyages through landscape, exploring our relationship to the natural world and our current ecological predicament.  The work portrays places and people who seem untouched, almost otherworldly, harmonious and at one with the landscape they inhabit. Onabulé draws on the depiction of people from ancient cultures, seeing humans and souls as more symbolic rather than individualistic. She expands on the idea of the everyman, of universal, collective experience across large oil paintings, works on card and monotypes on paper. Onabulé's mark marking is intuitive, depicting figures in landscapes standing, or lying, in verdant forests and scorched plains amid fronds of foliage and long shadows. There are mountains and rivers, skies and wildfires. They are romantic and dangerous, mysterious yet familiar.

 

Her works straddles longing and irony, exploring how we have lost our way with regards to our relationship to the natural world and asking questions about how we might find our way back.

 

"I am interested in the cheapening of that beauty, that's what we are experiencing, I wanted to describe it."

 

Education 

2016

BA (Hons), Fine Art: Painting, Wimbledon College of Art, London, UK

 

Solo Exhibitions 

2022

Arcadia, Sim Smith, London, UK

2020

Arrival on the Beach, Guts Gallery, London, UK

Selected Group Exhibitions 

2022
Shrubs, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

Matches Struck Unexpectedly In The Dark, One Room Gallery, London, UK​

2021

Saw It Hang Down There, Bode Projects, Berlin, Germany

Reality Check, Guts Gallery/Anderson Contemporary, London, UK

Into The Light of The Present Day, Oliver Projects, London, UK

Underpinned by Movements of Freighters, The Florence Trust, London, UK

Cluster-Phobia, Newington Green Meeting House, London, UK

Get A Load of This, Daniel Raphael Gallery, London, UK

For The Many Not The Few, Guts Gallery, London, UK

2020

Untitled (But Loved), Bosse & Baum, London, UK

In Response, The Viewing Room, London, UK 

2019
They Catch Feelings, I Catch Bodies, Sim Smith, London, UK

2016

Wimbledon College of Art BA Degree Show, London, UK

2015

The Contemporary Portrait, Thompson's Gallery, London, UK

  

Awards 

2021

Jackson's Painting Prize, Shortlisted 

2017

Hix Award, Shortlisted 

Ingram Young Artist Prize, Shortlisted 

2016

Clyde & Co Art Awards, Shortlisted