Joseph Ijoyemi is an Afro-Swedish contemporary artist Living and working in London.
He draws his inspiration from life experiences and conversations, so his work often contains a narrative. His work can be both figurative and abstract and combines a novel use of imagery and materials.
He has recently completed his MA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins in 2023. His exceptional work and dedication have garnered recognition and accolades, including the prestigious Helen Scott Lidgett Award, supported by the ACME. Additionally, Joseph’s artistic prowess was acknowledged when he was shortlisted for the Evening Standard Prize 2023 that included a group exhibition. Notably, Joseph’s artistic journey continues to soar as he has been selected to showcase his work at the highly regarded New Contemporaries 2023 exhibition, solidifying his position as a promising and emerging artist within the contemporary art scene.
He has recently been working on projects with organisations such as, Royal Museums Greenwich, Peabody, Woolwich Works and Royal Borough of Greenwich.
Collaborating closely with local basketball enthusiasts, he embarked on a project commissioned by Peabody to create a floor mural that transcended artistic expression. Instead, it became a catalyst for community engagement and a tangible embodiment of shared ownership.
With a deeply personal connection to Thamesmead, Joseph’s childhood experiences in the area lent a profound layer of meaning to this endeavour. Having briefly called Thamesmead home, he approached this project with a fervent desire to leave a legacy in the place that holds a piece of his history.
Titled “Believe and Achieve,” the basketball mural floor artwork stands as a testament to Joseph’s belief in the boundless potential within every individual. In his eyes, the cage—a space that bore witness to both adversity and transformation—serves as a metaphor for life’s challenges. Through this project, Joseph imparts a powerful message: that amidst adversity, especially for the youth of Thamesmead, there exists the potential to rise above and achieve greatness.
“Believe and Achieve” is not merely a work of art; it is a beacon of hope, a symbol of resilience, and a testament to the transformative power of community-driven endeavours. Joseph Ijoyemi’s contribution to Thamesmead stands as a testament to his dedication to his roots and his unwavering belief in the potential for positive change through art.
Joseph is also a co-founder of The Collective Makers, an organisation helping young creatives in his community to expand their practice through mentorship, collaboration and empowerment.
In his current practice, Joseph delves into the exploration of his Nigerian heritage, specifically focusing on his parents’ hometown and its historical and cultural significance. He immerses himself in various museums that house collections related to Nigeria, allowing him to unearth stories and delve into the roots of his ancestry. Through his artistic expression, Joseph seeks to bring these stories to light, shining a spotlight on the complexities and richness of Nigerian history.
One notable aspect of Joseph’s artistic journey is his unique acquisition of the Alumbro Metal from the Cutty Sark Ship hull, bestowed upon him by the National Maritime Museum. This unusual material has become a significant part of his creative process, as he utilizes it to construct thought-provoking sculptures, paintings, and installations. Through these works, Joseph examines the black experience and the African diaspora, offering new narratives, perspectives, and possibilities.
Joseph’s artistic practice serves as a platform for dialogue and discourse, encouraging viewers to reflect upon the intricacies of restitution, cultural heritage, and the notion of identity. By employing various mediums and techniques, he creates immersive and evocative experiences, inviting viewers to engage with his work on both an intellectual and emotional level.
With each work, Joseph aims to challenge preconceived notions and highlight the resilience, strength, and beauty within black communities. His artwork invites viewers to question societal norms, explore untold histories, and foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity.
As Joseph continues to push the boundaries of his practice, he remains committed to creating artwork that sparks conversations, encourages empathy, and contributes to a more inclusive and equitable society. His unique blend of artistic talent, cultural exploration, and thought-provoking storytelling establishes him as a significant voice in contemporary art, offering a fresh perspective on the African diaspora and the power of art to shape narratives and forge connections.