Ayline Olukman, a versatile multimedia artist from Strasbourg, France, skillfully navigates themes of intimacy, solitude, and wandering through her compelling blend of photography, painting, writing, etching, and drawing. A 2005 graduate with an MFA from L'École des Arts Décoratifs de Strasbourg (ESAD), her work delves into the nuances of human experience and perception.
Olukman's art is a journey of self-discovery and exploration, deeply rooted in the concept of displacement as a universal experience. Her work reflects on the notion of nostalgia and the transient nature of time, challenging the conventional understanding of imagery. She focuses on the creative process itself, seeking to understand the interconnectedness of the world, body, and memory.
Central to her work is the exploration of the skin's boundary as both a personal and universal geography. This theme serves as the cornerstone of her art, blurring the lines between scale and reality, and inviting viewers into a realm where conventional boundaries are lost. Her images, which she describes as inner/outer landscapes, are a confluence of the human body and nature, exploring their similarities and differences.
For Olukman, maintaining a connection with the elemental – nature and the road – is crucial, yet she emphasizes the importance of experiencing these elements without being confined by their limitations. Her artistic journey is one of self-realization and understanding her place within the larger whole. Her work engages the viewer in a dynamic interchange between the external world and internal reflections, offering a mirror that extends a hand to the observer.
"Maintaining my quest for wandering is a quest in itself. I have come to admit that the issue of displacement is central to my work. A non-place common to everyone. For a long time, in this relation to nostalgia, I was in the disenchantment of this time that nothing holds back. Then I realized I was wrong. The image is just an image but it has a real status; it exists by itself, which causes a certain imbalance. My study focuses on the process of creation itself, the search for meaning belonging to the world and to the body through memory. The limit of the skin is an intimate and yet universal geography that is the red thread of my work, a game of putting in damage where the notion of scale or reality is lost. I see my images: these inner/outer landscapes as the place where body and nature meet, negotiate their differences and similarities. I think it’s important to stay in touch with the elements, the nature or the road, but also that we cannot clearly identify them. I need to encompass things without their limitations. The more I entered into the desire to understand myself, the more I became aware that I was part of a whole. The gaze is solicited in a continuous exchange between the outside and the inside, the reflection of the mirror is a hand extended to the viewer." - Ayline Olukman