Photo: © Marcus J Leith, Royal Academy of Arts

Photo: © Marcus J Leith, Royal Academy of Arts

Royal Academy School Show  

Sikelela Owen previously studied at Chelsea College of Art and Design (2006). She makes loose figure paintings that are based on friends, family and people of interest.

Depicted in moments of leisure, there is a prevailing insouciance that harks back to early modern painting of the 19th century, which championed leisurely pursuits of the new middle classes born of industrial capital wealth. Yet there is also an exoticism to Owen’s work, as predominantly black figures enact everyday rites amongst family and friends.

Undefined landscapes suggest foreign climes by means of electric, monochromatic under painting, and figures cast shadows across the picture plane. Though it is not the main drive of the artist, these subtly intimate paintings allude to a complex history of the modern to post-modern age, through an intelligent combination of adopted vernaculars.

ARTWORK- Click on cropped image for details full size image.