Millie Toyin Olateju makes abstract paintings using mainly acrylic paint. Her paintings are process led - a mellow exploration of the elements with focus on composition, colour, shape, and texture. She takes light inspiration from collage, nature, Colour Field painting, Minimalism, Post-painterly Abstraction, Outsider Art, and Surrealism - in particular, Surrealist Automatism - as layers of various colours and organic forms are placed together sporadically. Making a painting provides Millie with a source of joy and play, but mostly a cathartic outlet for an anxious mind and an escape from day-to-day monotony. Being from mixed Nigerian and English descent, Millie’s purely non-objective paintings require the viewer to acknowledge her multifaceted existence - beyond the racial bias she often experiences.

Olateju (b. 1996) lives and works in her hometown, Liverpool, UK. She studied BA Mixed Media Fine Art at the University of Westminster, London, graduating in 2019. She has since been commissioned by the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool and Penguin Random House. In 2021, she was a recipient of the Liverpool Biennial x 24 Kitchen Street Artist Research and Development grant. Recent exhibitions include group shows - Refractive Pool: Contemporary Painting in Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (2022), and 'Are You Messin'?', Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool (2022). 


Using Format