Touching the Sky | Tiffanie Delune & Sola Olulode

Mucciaccia Gallery Project is pleased to present the exhibition Touching the Sky

Mucciaccia Gallery presents in its location in Rome, via Laurina 31, the works of two female artists with African descent, rising stars on the international scene, Tiffanie Delune (Paris, France, 1988) and Sola Olulode (London, UK, 1996). The exhibition Touching the Sky, which brings together for the first time the two artists, is curated by Catherine Loewe and will run from from October 5 to November 12, 2023.

This exhibition marks the beginning of a new path for Mucciaccia Contemporary, that changes its name to Project, and under the artistic direction of Giulia Abate, will focus on the research for new artistic proposals, organizing unprecedented exhibitions in the locations of via Laurina in Rome and in the other locations of Mucciaccia Gallery in London and Singapore.

The exhibition title is inspired by the song “Feel so High”, a ballad by the British singer Des’ree, taken from her debut album Mind Adventures (1992), a hymn to happiness and the joy of life, themes underlying the selection of the works presented, and that suggest a spiritual yearning to achieve one's dreams and bliss.

The dialogue between Tiffanie Delune and Sola Olulode is expressed through the juxtaposition of works that resonate with that soaring feeling which characterizes moments of pure joy and freedom: drawing on ideas of memory, love, passion and compassion, the two artists have embarked on a journey of self-discovery and self-affirmation that reflects their personal identities.

Their artworks refer to their African heritage, mingled with influences from the Western art canon, and are flooded with vivid and layered colours. In their distinctive ways, Delune and Olulode celebrate the universal story of womanhood, sharing deeply instinctive and nurturing qualities.

Tiffanie Delune, a self-taught artist of French, Belgo-Congolese heritage, who lives in Lisbon, Portugal. Her works embark on a sort of wondering wandering, weaving apparitions in dreams and travel recollections with symbols of her mixed-race family, hints of femininity and flux of spirituality, as one can see from the six works on display. Navigating between her darkest side and that full of light, movement and energy, Tiffanie is interested in the magic of storytelling, creating multi-layered pieces on cotton canvas, loose linen and smaller pieces of paper, playing with the scale, she longs for textures and meanings, by using acrylic, pastels, papercuts, spray paint, glitter and threads.

Sola Olulode, a British Nigerian artist living and working in London, uses tender images to celebrate Black identity, womanhood and non-binary people. The artist uses gestural brushwork, indigo dye, wax, oil bar, impasto in monochromatic schemes in blue, green or yellow. In the exhibition, there are nine works which speak strongly of her Nigerian heritage, while centering the representation and visibility of Black Queer lived experiences.

Artists Delune and Olulode represent a new generation articulating what it means to be a black woman and artist in the 21st century, rejecting the tendency for reductive categorisation that revolves around the trauma of racial violence or stereotypes of black femininity, choosing instead an intentional life that leans into the realms of playfulness, dreams and joy.

Their works exude hope, carrying a sense of catharsis around personal struggles and the complexities of identity. This uplifting approach is a case of subtle activism reclaiming beauty, healing and fulfilment where this might previously have been absent or obscured. 

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, with contributing texts by Alayo Akinkugbe, art historian and founder of Instagram platform @ABlackHistoryOfArt, and the curator Catherine Loewe.