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OLLY ALAKIJA b.1966, in Malvern UK where she completed A levels including art as a subject. She continued studying art at the Oxford Polytechnic and later completed a teaching diploma in the Montessori method. She moved to live in Nigeria from 1990, married, and in 2005 relocated to South Africa. As well as pursuing her own art career, she has involved herself actively in community art related projects and painting. Polly is particularly interested in the human form and the portrayal thereof. Her architectonic figures languish within their laconic environment in timeless serenity, self-contained and unperturbed. Her canvases are inhabited by gentle giants of nature, whose energy is conserved in a permanent lethargy, where rich colour contrasts, brushwork, form and texture dominate. She is inspired not only from art historical traditions, but also from everyday life, often cajoling a model from the street to pose in her studio. She has exhibited in France, the UK, the University of Ibadan, Lagos, Johannesburg and Cape Town. Her work is included in numerous private collections in the USA, UK, France, Nigeria and South Africa and in several corporate collections, including Sahara, AVI, and Laurent Perrier.

Barbara Lindop - Art historian, biographer of Gerard Sekoto

The Dance Paintings Year | 2009 Medium | Oil on Canvas Dimensions | 1.8 X 1.8 metres Collaboration with ‘Dance for All’, Cape Town Exhibited at the Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town, February 2009

Comfort Year | 2001 | Nigeria Medium | Oil on Canvas Dimensions | 90 X 150 centimetres

Thandeka Year | 2008 | Cape Town Medium | Oil on Canvas Dimensions | 1.2 X 2 metres

Portraits of The Umar family Year | 2008 Medium | Oil on Canvas Dimensions | 1.8 X 1.8 metres Exhibited at Casa Labia, Muizenberg, SA, June 2011 ‘Akojo to Lewa’ (Beautiful Collection)

Chess players (Family portrait) Year | 2008 Medium | Oil on Canvas Dimensions | 1 X 1.2 metres

The Bathers Series Year | 2007 Medium | Oil on Canvas Dimensions | 90 X 150 centimetres ‘Luxe, Calmeet volupte’ (Luxury, peace and pleasure) The Laurent Perrier collection of South African Art

Bathers 2 (Rita and Thandeka) Year | 2007 Medium | Oil on Canvas Dimensions | 90 X 150 centimetres

The Greatmore Street Studios Mural Year | 2008 A mentorship project sponsored by the British Council (in memory of Madi Phala)

Catch that Goat Year | 2002 Published by Barefoot Books Opppenheim Gold Award winner

Title Lorem Ipsum Year | 20?? Medium | Oil on Canvas Dimensions | 3 X 3 metres

The Road to Market Year | 2002 Medium | Oil on Canvas Dimensions | 3 X 3 metres Published by Macmillans Reading Worlds

The Oka is coming (Unpublished) Year | 2003 Medium | Mixed Media Dimensions | 40 X 75 centimetres

A Stork in a Baobab Tree, An African Christmas Year | 2011 Medium | Acrylic Dimensions | 40 X 75 centimetres Published by Frances Lincoln Written by Catherine House

The Giraffe room Year | 2000 | Nigeria

Polly alikija Polly was born and educated in the U.K. In 1989 she moved to Nigeria. She now spends her time between the U.K., South Africa and Nigeria.


s a teacher Polly qualified as a Montessori teacher and went on to lecture on incorporating creative visual arts into the Montessori system. She ran art workshops for children between the ages of 3 and 16 years. In Nigeria she continued to teach part time and directed the development of Ibadan International School for the Zard Foundation (the first International Baccalaureate accredited school in Nigeria). As an illustrator Polly has focused on children’s and educational work. Clients include Unicef, The Ford Foundation, and The Montessori Centre. She has written and illustrated several books for Macmillans Reading Worlds Series, a scheme aimed at schools across Africa. Other publishers include Frances Lincoln and Barefoot Books. As an artist Polly has anticipated in numerous group shows in the U.K., France, Nigeria, and South Africa. She has held several solo shows, most recently, “We are such stuff as dreams are made of “, and “The Dance Paintings”, both at the Association for Visual Arts in Cape Town, and “ Akojo to Lewa” (Beautiful collection) At Casa Labia, Muizenberg, South Africa. She has twice been an artist in residence at The Greatmore Street Studios, Cape Town. Her works can be found in numerous private and corporate collections. Polly has always had an interest in community work working with children and young adults through workshops in schools, theatres and in mentorship programmes. Polly is the Managing Director of James Cubitt Interiors, part of the James Cubitt Architects group in Lagos, Nigeria.

contact | UK | +44 (0)796 111 6141 / +44 (0)168 429 5599 | SA +27 (0)84 719 6057 | NG +234 (0)807 441 4044

Polly Alakija Visual CV  

20 page visual CV for Polly Allakija

Polly Alakija Visual CV  

20 page visual CV for Polly Allakija