Little Black Girls. Coming March 2022.
‘Little Black Girls’ is Christian Azolan’s first solo exhibition, this gilded photography, paint and mixed media series is about representing black girls in art.
‘The art project started to take form after I read a report published by the TUC about Black and minority ethnic (BME) women in the national UK workforce. The study highlighted that black and minority ethnic women experience systemic, structural inequalities across the labour market, that meant that they are overrepresented in lower paid, insecure jobs and at higher risk of being underemployed.
BME women face insecurity, low pay, underemployment, unfair treatment, discrimination and racism.
Black girls need to see images of themselves, they need to be empowered, they need to be treated fairly, if they are are not seen and continue to be underrepresented and not celebrated in all art forms in society, these girls will enter adulthood and lack self identity, history and self worth’.
‘These girls should not have to grow up in a world were the odds are stacked against them based purely on their skin colour.’
Little Black Girls’ is a series of artworks that symbolises, blackness, ethnicity, womanhood, power, royalty and religion.
Floral Dream. 2021
Inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe, an artist that explores floral forms to excite, inferring sexual innuendos. Her work encouraged Christian to create a series that was both audaciously sexual and innately feminine.
What if flowers could dream, what would they be, what colours would they see and what would they feel and explore? The series puts you in a state of wonder, highlighting the power of dreams, to create untouchable worlds in our minds in an unconscious state. Are the shapes and feel of the floral dead or alive? Similarly, just like that feeling when you wake from a dream you’re not sure if your awake or still dreaming.
Art Lollies. 2021
This collection expresses Christian’s childhood and his mums’ unique approach to providing for the family, as they did not have much growing up. As a child you never really understand the value of money and how it is gained. Christian’s mum would always make alternatives to many items which are taken for granted as a child.
Ice lollies, an item you would usually purchase from an ice cream van, Christian’s mother created her own. Using plastic lolly moulds, she would make fruit squash versions, flavours alternating every month.
The Art Lollies in this collection allude to satisfying childish needs, as well as representing the currency saved for Christian’s future; funding his education in order to attend art school.
The intention of the collection is to allow a sense of escapism to memories of childhood and enjoying the homemade things, whilst acknowledging the sacrifice parents made on a daily basis, balancing between wants and needs.
San Francisco. 2021
In 2002, Christian lived in the Californian city San Fransisco, 5,000 miles away from his friends and family in London. During his time in San Fransisco, it was a period of self-discovery as well as his own discovery of the city. As presented in the collection, to find his way around he used a 19-year-old map.
Maps show and take us from one place and another. This map acts as a visual reminder of the memories of discovery, experiences and living independently, all of which make him the person he is today.
This being the first original mini-series Christian has created, it encapsulates memories that slowly fade was we live through different chapters of our lives. As the memories age, so does the series. The gold leaf details intentionally untreated to allow change over time, highlighting the importance of exploring a new place and feeding the adventurer that lives in all of us.
Christian was always fascinated in creation, which grew when he was first introduced to ‘The Book of Genesis’, the first book of the Christian old testament. Although religion plays no part in his life today, Christian did grow up in a religious household, enabling his fascination in the creation of the new to never leave his mind. Genesis being the pinnacle of this fascination.
Genesis is about optimism, positivity, perseverance, and the part we will all play in the 'new normal’. The collection presents life as a colourful journey, the part of us that continually evolves in the world around us. Especially as life is not as simple as black and white but is an endless flow of colour.
The abstract series forces you to bestow upon the colourful journey, envisioning new emotions, possibilities and a new future. Further encouraged by the unidentifiable marks and the pieces challenging traditional ideas of art of having no “right way up”.
The Birds. 2020
This series was created during the ongoing global pandemic. Our houses became our place of safety from the outside world, especially through the lockdown measures that were in place at the time.
Just like the Alfred Hitchcock film ‘The Birds’ we had to adjust to the idea of something so ordinary, suddenly becoming so unordinary and a nightmare for many. Just like caged birds we peered out upon the outside world from our windows. As the days rotate this inspired Christian to use elements such as the sun and moon in every piece. Highlighting the passing of time, questioning when will it end.
As questions still remain unanswered, we as people still have to continue to live, love, share, experience and morn in a new way. Christian’s intention was to transport the viewer to a place of pure observation. Being able to escape to a faraway place, something birds have always had the freedom to do.
Although there were limitations to our freedom we had to work as a team, just like flocks of birds. The murmuration in the collection symbolises the strength in numbers, as we as people also represented during the pandemic. ‘Let’s stay, be, fly and live together as one, because there is strength in numbers.’ Especially emphasised in ‘Golden Flock’.
Light Fantastica. 2020
The visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum is a range of wavelengths known as visible or simple light. Due to this spectrum we are able to communicate with the world around us through what we perceive as colours.
Every colour we see has a wavelength and frequency. Thus inspiring Christian to pull and digitally alter his photographs, altering the way we view an environment. Tuning these images into light beams allows you to create an image for yourself. It removes the everyday details and objects that we could get lost in. The light behind allows the viewer to work harder to see the image in the abstract, whilst the titles guide you to a familiar location.
Light is powerful and beautiful; which always lives all around us.
Light Fantastica is a celebration of the power of illuminations.
Christian Azolan x Ruth Melbourne (collaboration)
Intimacy is Christians’ first collaboration, looking into women, self-love and satisfaction alongside Ruth Melbourne, a very talented jewellery designer. Christian and Ruth both attended the same Design Collage and University, their friendship and creativity growing ever since.
The collection is about wearing intimate jewellery for yourself, looking into your own beauty. Quoted by the collection, “She slipped briskly into an intimacy from which she never recovered.” Thus emphasising how femininity in some cases could be taken as fragile but is quite the opposite. Femininity is empowering, you take the selfish and seductive part of femininity and make it your own. The power of me, myself and I.
Matters of the Heart. 2020
The human heart does nothing more than pump blood around the body, but the ways in which we describe the heart is always more in depth. Through this collection Christian wanted to explore the simplicity of our hearts and feelings, whilst identifying moments in our lives where we search for answers in our hearts, rather than our heads.
The Matters of the Heart series does not only identify moments of enigma but is a delicate view into the ways we use words, frame colours, and make generalised statements to describe how we feel at a specific moment in time.
As you look upon the collection you can associate with the power of the titles, bring back an emotion from the past and how you may have dealt with it.
During the difficult time of the Coronavirus Pandemic Christian wanted to do something in order to pay tribute to the unmeasurable work the NHS staff did and are still doing in hospitals around the UK. March 2020 Christian wanted to raise money for the NHS Charities. He created ‘Our Rainbow Heart’. The artwork references the rainbow, a symbol of hope used during the pandemic. This is also something that many families are creating their own versions of and placing them up on their windows at home, showing support.
Mixed Collection. Ongoing.
Christian’s mixed collection is an area for him to play around with ideas, explore, create and illustrate limited edition prints in or as part of a series. Through this he has deeply been able to create using a low-poly style of art, bringing a different dimension to 2D images. All the polygons are hand drawn and coloured individually to capture immense detail and bring an image to life.