Ethiopian-Norwegian artist Olana Janfa has made waves among Melbourne’s creative community since he started his self-taught painting practice just a few years ago.
He’s hosted local workshops, worked on fashion collaborations and painted an entire basketball court as a mural for Nike! We even visited his Northcote studio in 2019, and now, his debut solo show is about to be revealed at Melbourne gallery Lamington Drive.
Titled, I’m No Speek English, the exhibition draws on the three cultural lenses that have shaped his unique worldview – from being born in Ethiopia, raised in Norway and his current life in Melbourne. Olana’s distinctive works feature often characters and hand-lettering, with themes of language, race and status woven throughout.
He’s created 40 new paintings for the show using found materials alongside acrylic, oil and pastels. It’s a colourful, direct and reflective (both for Olana himself, and the viewers) look at what it means to wear the ‘migrant’ label in today’s society. And it opens in Collingwood tonight!
See ‘I’m No Speek English’ at Lamington Drive from November 25 until January 28.
52 Budd Street, Collingwood