When Love is Right : SMO @ 1-54 London 2023

October 12 - 15, 2023
SMO presents When Love is Right, an exhibition of paintings, sculpture, and mixed media works by Ayoola Gbolahan, Jill Berelowitz, and Victor Sonoiki. These three artists explore the universality of love, a balanced relationship with the earth, and the need to preserve our cultural identity for past and future generations. Their works create a powerful interplay by artists from three different generations, who show us what it means to come to terms with our human connections, our environment and our ancestry, through the exploration of a muilti-ethnic African lens. They experiment with paper and sand, bronze and resin, and oil on canvas with pen and ink highlights, creating a cohesive conversation which resonates through their work
  • Ayoola Gbolahan

    Ayoola Gbolahan

    Ayoola Gbolahan is a Nigerian multidisciplinary artist born in 1977, in Ibadan, Nigeria. He attended the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ife, Nigeria, graduating with a Bachelor’s in Fine/Applied Arts in 2002. His work draws inspiration from human behavior and human anthropology channeled through the prism of his art as his interpretation of the world.
    Ayoola Gbolahan presents our history, memory and cultural identity through traditional symbolism, creating undulating, “pockered” backgrounds using a unique technique of sand pellets, which lend a rich aesthetic to his complex figuration. His fascination with archaeology and anthropology have influenced his textured intricate works, in which he uses historical motifs to create linkages between past and present generations. These works come from his RE-AGENTS series, connecting traditional African narratives to contemporary knowledge systems. Drawing inspiration from dreamscapes and memories, Ayoola’s response to the global pandemic and the subsequent rising socio-political issues generated and elevated by the crisis, raises questions around our cultural identity and the place of the black man in the world.
  • Ayoola Gbolahan, Come Along With Me, 2023
  • Jill Berelowitz

    Jill Berelowitz

    Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1955, Jill Berelowitz studied sculpture, first under Karen Jarozynska and then at the Johannesburg School of Art. Jill moved from her native South Africa to London nearly 30 years ago and is one of the capital’s most innovative sculptors, known for her bronze, steel and optical resin works.
    Her work expresses the connections between humanity and nature, light and life, family and love, through the innovative use of sculptural materials. With its roots in South Africa, and formed with a sensuous elegance, the work is a meditation on the beauty and timelessness of humankind’s relationship to the earth. Many themes recur in the work, from the supple anatomy of the human figure, to the lyrical curves of the female form, to the undulating organic quality of acacia leaves and the entangled branches of giant tumbleweed. Separately, these works offer their own stories, but when taken together become a joyful celebration of the universal beauty of nature as well as forming a visual autobiography of Jill’s life and family.
  • Jill Berelowitz, Gaia Maquette, 2022
  • Victor Sonoiki

    Victor Sonoiki

    Victor Sonoiki is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Nigeria, known for his striking pen and ink portraits celebrating black beauty and excellence. Born in 1998, his artistic journey began at an early age drawing on walls and notebooks. He attended the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos State where he graduated with a Higher National Diploma in
    Painting in 2019.

    In his new body of work, Sonoiki expands from single portraiture on paper to experiment with oil, pen and ink on canvas. ‘When Love is Right delves into the artist’s personal experiences and how love is viewed by his generation. Sonoiki explores the concept of love and questions whether love can ever be wrong? Through a hyper-realistic artistic expression, he tries to convey the magical and supernatural feeling of two unique individuals coming together to create a beautiful life and environment despite their differences, celebrating true companionship.