Christian Azolan’s majestic exhibition ‘Little Black Girls’ graced the Fitzrovia Chapel for only a short time, but his artworks can now be viewed online. Described by the artist as a celebration of underrepresented black girls in art, the artist sets out to portray young black girls in the style of Goddesses and Queens from classical mythology and religious iconography. In this sense, they relate to the artworks of Lina Iris Viktor that are featured in ‘In the Black Fantastic’. Azolan combines photography with painting and gilding in a similar way to Viktor. Azolan is a British and London-based visual artist originally from the Seychelles.
He started working on the exhibition during lockdown and did a callout on Instagram to find the girls to be photographed for the series. With the ‘Little Black girls’ exhibition, Azolan set out to promote black representation by demonstrating the importance of ethnicity and raise awareness about the insecurity, discrimination and racism that black women often face. His portraits empower the girls and emphasise that they should be treated fairly, and not have to grow up in a world where the odds are stacked against them based on the colour of their skin.
“It’s a representation of black girls in art, in positions of power, posing as Royalty, so they look really strong. The images are saying ‘We can be Angels, we can be Royals, we can be all of those things. And that’s how the girls should see themselves. I wanted it to be a space where black figures are seen because when you look around at the stained-glass windows (of Fitzrovia Chapel), they’re all white faces. And that’s Ok, I can’t change the stained-glass windows. But I can be here representing these girls in a different light.”