Two artworks mounted on gallery walls.

Toyin Ojih Odutola

Artist in Residence, 2016

Artist Statement

I create drawings to emphasize how an image is a striated terrain to tactically mine, traversing such themes as the unreliability of memory, how skin can render a place and a time as opposed to a person, and the varying implications of identity—in how it is suspect and ever-changing. I specialize in ballpoint pen ink, but have expanded to include charcoal, pastel, pencil, marker, and lithography crayon in my arsenal of tools. Although I deal specifically in the realm of portraiture, the portrait is the occasion not the representation, an event or space where the marks “happen.” In sum, I use my work to explore the extent of the materials at hand and to play with the surface, be it paper, board, wood, or mylar.

While At Headlands

I’ve been fascinated with the medium of the comic book and how to incorporate that narrative style. I hope to explore the possibility of creating a comic during my residency. Although I do not know whether I will complete a book or series while at Headlands, I welcome what this process may bring to my discipline. From there, I hope to expand the possible genres my work can inhabit.