These creators form a kaleidoscope, a series of reflections of what should be illuminated but perhaps is still relegated to the shadows. They range from photographers who immortalise memories and stitch meaning into material and directors who can tell a million stories in minutes.
We’ve created a shortlist of creators who embrace experimentation. Each of them challenges the status quo somehow, and the rhythm in which we see this happen is hypnotising. This rhythm is a pulsing sense of interrogation, growth and sincerity, which permeates their work and highlights their uniqueness. In a climate where content is often reduced to a commodity, the following artists exemplify careful and intentional creating.
Chukwuka is a young Nigerian Londoner making waves in the global visual art realm. Clearly versed in directing, curation, and visual art, her unique and intuitive aesthetic welds both classic and experimental worlds. Earlier portraiture work included in the 2018 collaboration with Adoja Armah, entitled ‘Garden of Portraits’ reveals dream-like, faded edges that eventually construct a vivid ideal image. Nwobi’s rich photography gently compliments Armah’s poetic commentary.
Through Nwobi’s careful introspection, we are left with a deep sense of collective spirit and diasporic narratives.
Fabien’s work emulates a fluid type of voyeurism, carrying us through both intimately domestic and natural settings.
Reflective of this versatility, Fabien’s photographic and creative record is impressive yet complex. Along with designer Nicholas Guichard, the two combined minds on their project ‘Believer’, a 2020 short film exploring Réunion; a remote French Island in the Indian Ocean, with a cozy population of less than a million. Believer travels through fertile farmland and beaches that are kissed by the glow of sunset. These landscapes contextualise the film as Fabien acts as an observer, bearing witness to a local Réunion boy’s short journey. It blends spoken word, movement and still life, all complimented by a church-like musical score.
Nostalgia, nature, family and love are just a minuscule portion of Fabien’s repertoire.
London based Priya Ahluwalia is behind ready-to-wear menswear brand ‘Ahluwalia’. Her sporty-chic designs or creative direction do not compromise Priya’s eco and global-consciousness. Instead, her ethos is seen to inform her work.
Priya often uses recycled and deadstock items to help compose new garments. This is part of a collective bid to address the ongoing climate emergency. She addresses the destruction of environmental landscapes in states exposed to dumping due to the fast fashion industry’s overproduction.
Further, Priya and peer Dennis McInnes combine minds to create Ahluwalia’s SS21 collection ‘Liberation’. Heavily influenced by the social context of 60’s Nigeria and the modern Black Lives Matter movement, the digital collection showcases a lust for freedom through muted tones, colour blocking and geometric patterning.
Though versed with a range of skills varying from writing to music, Siam Coy is a London based photographer whose eye for portraiture is nothing short of transformative.
His work is often blurred with layers of grain. However, this does not compromise boldness. Siam often captures models and friends in self-driven, creative projects, sometimes styled in looks from labels such as Miu Miu, Prada and archival Comme des Garçons. Despite an uncomplicated aesthetic quality, Siam doesn’t shy from the political truths. By extension, his work is not easily influenced by the fickle nature of our social climate. He has a diverse subject matter, indicative of the desire to imagine a world without exclusive rigidity or narrowness.
Siam’s prints can be purchased via his website siamcoy.com.