Hilda Kortei produces abstract imagery with an urgent sense of its implication in the struggle for Black freedom. Born in South East London in 1994 and with a background in graphic design, she renders the aesthetic and the political as inextricably linked: her playful, disruptive work is informed by a rich array of source material (photography, sculpture, literature, music) in which pigmentation is politics. An appearance of naivety belies a subtle understanding of the loadedness of tonality, and of how questions of power, pleasure and visual representation cannot be disentangled. ‘Black is a versatile colour,’ she says: ‘sometimes there’s an innocence there for me, a warming feeling I get when I use black. It’s comforting. Other times, it’s disruptive. Unmoved. I enjoy letting the colour speak for itself, however gentle or thunderous it wants to be. A painting is never complete without it.’ Working primarily on paper and unstretched calico, the eloquent chaos of her imagery challenges received ideas of finality. Rewarding on its own terms, it is aware of what remains to be done.
Hilda Kortei lives and works in London and has exhibited both in the UK and internationally. Kortei received BA with Honours in Graphic Design at the Arts University of Bournemouth in 2015 and since graduation has completed courses including Colour in Practice: Undestanding colour at the Slade School of Art, London. Kortei was awarded a scholarship by The Royal College of Art and begins an MA in Painting in September 2021.
Solo exhibitions include: Waitless Beyond Blue, Cob Gallery, London, UK (2021). Group Exhibitions include; Undivided divinity, Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, London, UK (2020); Your space or mine, The Molasses Gallery (site specific), 15 locations in London, UK (2020); Open Studios: ASC Stockwell Road, Brixton, London ,UK (2019); Colour in Practice, The Slade School of Fine Art, London, UK, (2019); Looking Glass Collective: Belongingness, Das Giftraum, Berlin, Germany (2017); 990 Days, Degree show, The Arts University Bournemouth, Bournemouth, UK (2015); Regeneration, The BRIT School of Performing Arts, & Technology, London, UK (2012); Myth, Legend, Folklore, The Horniman Museum, London, UK (2011); ‘First’ Exhibition, The Rag Factory, Shoreditch, London, UK (2010)