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Prize-winning graduate gains first solo show

Newcastle alumna Joy Labinjo (Fine Art 2017) – an emerging artist who won one of the art world’s most generous awards in 2017 – launched her first exhibition in London last month.

On 11 January Joy’s exhibition ‘Belonging’ opened at Morley Gallery, London. Joy’s work forms part of a new programme that aims to challenge the status quo and encourage reflection and debate on our increasingly complex times.

Joy’s paintings draw on her British-Nigerian heritage, examining the complex relationship between identity, race and culture. In Belonging, Labinjo invites the view to step into large-scale canvases saturated with colours, patterns and people, reconfigured from her family photograph albums.

“It feels absolutely amazing to be having my first solo show,” says Joy. “I didn't think it would be possible for me to be an artist, let alone have a solo show only six months or so after graduating. I was over the moon when Morley Gallery got in touch. I know that I've been quite lucky with my situation which makes me appreciate the support I've received so much more.”

Joy was awarded the prestigious Woon Art Prize in 2017. The prize, jointly hosted by Northumbria University and BALTIC, includes a £20, 000 fellowship, including 12-months studio space in the Woon Tai Jee studio at BATLIC 39 in Newcastle.

Belonging will run until 10 February 2018 at Morley Gallery, 61 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7HT. To share your news and stories with us, please contact

Joy Labinjo artwork

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