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Painting (MA)

Tami Soji-Akinyemi

Tami Soji-Akinyemi is a British-Nigerian interdisciplinary artist based in London.

Her conceptual approach translates into varied outcomes which oscillate between the immaterial and material, and mine the nature of connection and communication.

She holds a BA in Fashion Design from University for the Creative Arts, Epsom (2014) and a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design from Central Saint Martins, UAL (2010).

Show Location: Battersea campus: Painting Building, First floor

My practice explores the mystery of connection, the longing for discovery and journey of activity that leads to resonant understanding. The experimental nature of my work gives rise to an expanding repertoire of material processes in textiles, print, ceramics and photography which hinge on the notion of relationality.

My painting practice is haunted by the notion of ‘more’, not of excess but of gaining access through excavation; extruding the depths of a conceptual and material whole. 


I take on a multi-positional role as builder, connector, ruiner. This could involve the repetitive meditation of unpicking and fraying punctures into fabric. Or picking and piling together assemblages made from constellations of amuletic marks and materials in search of stable narratives. Or finding points of triangulation between the mediums of painting, video, sculpture and sound to chart the potentialities of the void - containing traces of the maturation of activity from thought and time.

There is an abstraction of the diagram - that source which vibrates in the middle of processes - of plans and predictions, of working things out; where image, language and symbol come together to assert a ‘truth’. The recurring motif of the dot/ circle/ plot point is the focus of this presentation and speaks to what I have discovered in the instability of this truth. It represents the precision but also the reductive, and ambiguous nature of language/ symbol/ image as data – malleable and multiplicitous (though claiming to be whole). It is what I know, and what I may never know, all at once.

CenterOil and cotton on canvas, 30cm x 40cm
YolkOil and linen on canvas, 50cm x 60cm

These works are the result of earlier research and experiments thinking about the impossibility of really getting to the core, source or start of anything.

While researching the vastness of history, space and the unknowns therein, creating a topologically rich surface that acknowledged the gaps became important to give the work context.

The puncture - both additive and reductive, creative and destructive became a gesture to mark, make and measure. Like the 'mystic writing pad' (S.Freud) these marks in formation bear an agency and an ephemerality - fragmented text becomes image, becomes material, becomes language; a dialogue with the unknowable in timeless voids.

RCA 2022 Degree Show installation view
Tread the BeamLinen and brass on wood, 117cm x 103cm x 23cm
Tread the Beam (detail)
A Tropical Dynasty (detail)
A Tropical DynastyLinen on varnished aluminium, 200cm x 220cm x 35cm
Plotter IMixed media on linen, 70cm x 90cm
Plotter I (detail)

The installation for the RCA 2022 Degree Show presents three works from the ongoing series 'Accord' which questions 'the source' and the painted surface while using the punctured mark, materiality and tensile like structures to explore philosophical notions of self-individuation (G.Simondon) and opacity (E.Glissant) - the give and take.

The work hopes to be an active interface or device to open up material, spatial and haptic understandings of this developing visual language. It seeks to reach out or project a metaphysical (or pseudo) multi-sensory experience.

EdgeInkjet print, A3
ReachingInkjet print, A3

These works are part of an ongoing exploration into changing material states using photographic processes. They present with the certainty of the scientific or documentary, but are held in stasis as phenomena - unrepeatable images of material transitions.

This is All you GetModelling clay and net with pins, 73.4cm x 46.4cm x 5.2cm

This work builds on a part of my practice experimenting with the agency of process and material symbolism. Objects form fragmentary constellations, they coalesce within the assemblage to create new meanings - becoming and evolving through relation.

'This is All you Get' is a fragile spatial puncture which hopes to quietly connect the intimate to the universal.