2022 brings a new wave of emerging global talent to the British art scene. Lulama Wolf, a 27-year-old South African visual artist, is displaying her work at her first solo exhibition in the UK at SoShiro Gallery in Marylebone, London.
The exhibition, entitled ‘Ndizalwe nge ngubo emhophe’ (I was born wrapped in a white blanket) runs until 4thMarch. It includes a series of acrylic paintings and an intricate textile installation that explore pre-colonial African heritage and express the intersectionality of neo-expressionism and modern African Art.
Wolf’s style and approach reflect the traditional smearing and scraping techniques and incorporates the deep pigments and patterns used by women to decorate African homes. She developed her expressionist and abstract style through her studies of fine art and fashion at the University of Johannesburg, and she found further inspiration during her recent month-long residency in Antibes, France, for the Undiscovered Canvas Art Residency Program for emerging African Artists.
Wolf describes her art as the embodiment of the simplicity and deep spiritual power of the native eye, and an investigation of the links between several themes including history, spirituality and science.
“I represent different parts of myself including abstraction, curiosity, mythology, spirituality and introspection,” she explains. “Blackness is vital in my work because it is created by a black woman despite the medium or language it speaks – it is vital because proof of existence is rare in the black community. Information is shared but isn’t sustained in ways that are knowledgeable to us right now. I express my yearning for answers and clarity in ways that make my blackness clear even when the work is abstract”.
It was this unique expression of power through spirituality and heritage in Wolf’s work that gained the attention of Shiro Muchiri, director of SoShiro Gallery; “Lulama’s connection to spirituality and healing, and her experience as a black woman from South Africa, is an exciting combination and one that I know has the power to communicate human heritage, a narrative that is at the heart of SoShiro”.
Wolf’s first UK solo show is a breath of fresh air on the London art scene and a defining moment in her career. We expect to see a great deal more of her as she continues to evolve and expand her work globally.