B[L]ackground

The colour black connotes both presence and absence, before and after: existence and non-existence. Extrapolating this paradox to race, we arrive at a nuance of Black identity – being simultaneously invisible and conspicuous to the world around you. By manipulating the texture and depth of paintings and sculptures, this abstract figurative series explores the relationship between Black identity and congruence with, or resistance against, one’s environment, and the values and expectations that such surroundings impose: B[L]ackground.

Seeking to redress an imbalance of diversity in art whilst also inspired by the series’ core issues, Suleyman has drawn upon his own experiences as a man of Caribbean and African heritage to examine the central themes of race, selfhood, fatalism, and self-fulfillment in the context of gender, sexuality, and parenthood. Reflections on race relations and racial identity in the aftermath of George Floyd's death and the heightened focus on anti-Black racism have also inspired recent pieces - in particular Mother (2/2) and Colourless Years Of Wanderings, which address ideas of oppression, isolation, and self-actualization.

****

Man (1/2)

150cm x 110cm

Acrylic on canvas

Sold

Untitled 1

Man (2/2)​

57cm x 48cm
Acrylic on canvas

Woman (1/2)

148cm x 100cm

Acrylic on canvas

Sold

Woman (2/2)

70cm x 120cm

Acrylic on canvas

067_HighRes_fin.jpg

Father (1/2)

148cm x 115cm

Acrylic on canvas

Sold

Father (2/2)

120cm x 70cm

Acrylic on canvas

073_HighRes_Fin.jpg

 Mother (1/2)

68cm x 135cm

68cm x 135cm

Mixed material on canvas

Michelle.jpg

 Mother (2/2)

150cm x 130cm

Mixed material on canvas

Colourless Years Of Wanderings

270cm x 190cm

Mixed material on canvas

Rise2.jpg

Excellence

18cm x 17cm

Clay

Free 2020 (2).jpg

George Jackson

65cm x 81 cm

Acrylic on canvas

Sold

Grey Blue Figure-2.jpg

30

65cm x 81 cm

Acrylic on canvas

Sold

Catch The Fire-2.jpg

Catch The Fire

65cm x 81 cm

Acrylic on canvas

Sold

Pens.jpg

Pens​

91.4cm x 121.9cm

Acrylic and vinyl on

canvas