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Olana Light is a multidisciplinary artist based in Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK. She has an MA from Goldsmiths (2020) and a BA from Southampton Solent University (2017). 


Recent awards include the Arts Council England DYCP (2024), CAS Emerging Sculptors Award (2023), Southampton City Gallery Billboard Commission (2023); Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grant (2022 and 2021); Blue Sky Ideas Art&Heritage Award (2022); StreetLife&Aesthetica Changing Rooms Commission Prize (2022);  SpudOPEN Judge’s and Public Choice Award (2022); The Spring Open Competition Award (2022); the Little Forest Open Competition (2022); ‘a space’ arts Lucky Dip Bursary (2021); Zealous Stories Sculpture (2021); Sunny Art Prize Award (2020); and the Goldsmiths International Response Scholarship Award (2017). She was also shortlisted for the 6th John Ruskin Prize (2024); Quay Arts Open: The Art of Sculpture (2023); CAS Open_Open (2023); The Next Thing Award (2022); 8th International Marianne Brandt Award (2022); NAE Open (2022); the Zealous Stories: Short Film (2022); The Next Thing Award (2021); Zealous Stories Performance (2020); Batsford Prize Award (2019 and 2017); Harvest Short Film Competition (2019); Visual Art Open Prize (2018); Nasty Women International Art Prize (2018), and the Platform Graduate Award (nominated by Aspex Gallery, 2017).


She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include Let It Breathe, Hidden Wardrobe, 'a space' arts, Southampton; out I side I in, The Smallest Gallery, Soho; We Are Not Ourselves, The Stone Space, and Jeannie Avent Gallery, London.


Olana has completed residencies at La Vista in Tenerife (2023), EcoSuites in Greece (2022); School of Design and Fashion in Southampton (2019); Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth (2017 and 2018); Sticks Gallery in Fareham (2017).


Recent publications include Ludvig Rage, Inside Artist, and Trebuchet.

Artist Statement:


Light’s practice moves between sculpture, performance, and moving images and delves into the complexity of identity, capturing the many layers that make up an individual's sense of self. Her ongoing exploration of finding a sense of belonging and discovering her place in the world leads her to realize that we are an integral part of nature. This idea of unity with nature is central to her work.

Audiences are invited to witness the human seamlessly merging with the natural world, creating a collective 'we-world' that transcends societal divisions and offers an inclusive space where everyone feels a sense of belonging. By freeing herself from societal norms, Light delves into the essence of humanity and our place in the universe.

Nature serves as an abundant source of inspiration for Light, driving her to envision a future where we harmonize with the natural world. She aims to inspire others to coexist with nature and work towards a brighter future. Through her art, Light sparks conversations about our relationship with nature, the essence of identity, and the accessibility of art to all.

Light's live performances in public places aim to integrate art into everyday life, providing access for ordinary people and passersby who may otherwise be unable to experience the arts due to financial or other barriers that prevent them from visiting galleries.


Olana Light

Portsmouth, United Kingdom



  • Member Royal Society of Sculptors

  • Studio Member Art Space Portsmouth

  • Member Society of Scottish Artists




2021 - 2022 Artist Professional Development Programme,
2017 - 2020 MFA Fine Art, Goldsmiths University of London
2014 - 2017 BA First Class Honours Degree in Fine Art, Southampton Solent University

2013 - 2014 Art and Design BTEC Diploma Level 3, Portsmouth Highbury College


Awards/ Competitions/Commissions:



  • Every Breathe We Take Art Competition winner in Open Category 

  • Alpine Fellowship Visual Art Prize shortlisted

  • Arts Council England: Developing Your Creative Practice Grant

  • Clyde&Co Art Award shortlisted

  • BizBubble Modern Maker Award finalist

  • Aesthetica Art Prize longlisted

  • The 6th John Ruskin Prize shortlisted


  • Arts&Heritage Digital Winter Commission, supported by English Heritage

  • Zealous Amplify: Environment, shortlisted

  • Mela Monument, Co-creating Public Space: John Hansard Gallery, shortlisted

  • SpudOPEN: Digital Dreaming, 2023, shortlisted

  • CAS Emerging Sculptors Development Award, finalist

  • Quay Arts Open 2023: The Art of Sculpture, shortlisted

  • CAS Open_Open 2023, shortlisted

  • March, Found Cities, Lost Objects: Women in the City Billboard Commission winner, curated by Lubaina Himid, a partnership between Arts Council Collection, Southampton City Gallery, and ‘a space’ arts


  • SpudOPEN 2022 Judge’s and Public Choice Award

  • The Next Thing Award 2022, shortlisted

  • StreetLife&Aesthetica Changing Rooms Commission Prize, winner

  • The 8th International Marianne Brandt Award, shortlisted

  • Arts Council England Project Grant Fly Like a Butterfly

  • Contemporary Art Volunteer Ambassadors: Blue Sky Ideas Art&Heritage Award 

  • The Spring Open Competition Prize, winner

  • NAE Open 2022, shortlisted

  • Zealous Stories: Short Film 2022, shortlisted

  • Little Forest 4th Plinth Open Competition 2022, winner

  • Orbit, Ridley Road Market Bar London, commissioned


  • Next Thing Award 2021, Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre, shortlisted

  • Arts Council England Project Grant Search to Belong

  • Stamp Festival, Hamburg, commissioned

  • Zealous Stories: Sculpture 2021, winner

  • Batsford Art Prize 2020-2021, Fine Art category, shortlisted

  • Platform Art Projects Open Call, commissioned

  • Zealous Stories: Photography 2021, shortlisted

  • Lucky Dip Bursary ‘a space’ arts, winner


  • Sunny Art Prize 2020, winner

  • Southampton from your SOfa, commissioned by Southampton’s B. I .D. Ltd

  • Zealous Stories: Performance 2020, shortlisted

  • Arts Council England Covid-19 Emergency Fund


  • Harvest Short Film Competition 2019, shortlisted

  • London Contemporary Art Prize, longlisted

  • Batsford Prize Award 2019, shortlisted 

  • The News Guide Award Portsmouth, Best Visual Artist, runner-up


  • Journeys Festival International Competition LookUp Portsmouth, finalist

  • Nasty Women International Art Prize 2018, shortlisted

  • Visual Art Open Prize 2018, Digital Category, finalist

  • The News Guide Award Portsmouth, Best Visual Artist, shortlisted

  • Platform Graduate Award 2017, shortlisted (nominated by Aspex)

  • Goldsmiths International Response Scholarship Award

Solo Exhibition:


2022 Let It Breathe, Hidden Wardrobe, ‘a space’ art, Southampton

2021 out I side I in, The Smallest Gallery, London

         Automatic Sight: Autofókusz, Museum of Unfulfilled Dreams, Fringe Arts Bath

         We Are Not Ourselves, Jeannie Avent Gallery, London 

         Portal Fantasy, commissioned by K6 Gallery, Southampton

2020 We Are Not Ourselves, The Stone Space, London

2018 Arcane World, Hidden Wardrobe, Southampton

         ArtVaults:Live 2018, Canute’s Palace, Southampton

Selected Performances:


  • The Caterpillar, Rebirth and Regeneration, The Bulb, Southampton    

  • The Birch Tree, Sir Harold Hillier Garden, Romsey

  • The Birch Tree, Above Bar Street, Southampton 


  • Fly Like a Butterfly, Hot Walls Christmas Market, Portsmouth                                                                                                                                                  

  • Fly Like a Butterfly, The Imaginarium of Dreams, The StoreHouse N9, Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth

  • Invisible Woman, Awe and Wonder, Fringe Arts Bath

  • Fly Like a Butterfly, Art in the Garden, Little Forest Land Art, Wickham

  • Fly Like a Butterfly, Making Space, Havant, Hampshire

  • Fly Like a Butterfly, Guildhall Square, Southampton

  • Fly Like a Butterfly, Winter Sculpture Park, Gallery No.32, London


  • Fly Like a Butterfly, West Street, Havant, Hampshire

  • The Light Festival/Lantern Parade, Fratton Big Local, We Shine, Portsmouth


  • The Imaginarium of Dreams, We Shine,The Studio Theatre, Portsmouth Guildhall

  • Search to Belong, God’s House Tower, Southampton

  • Search to Belong, Above Bar Street, Southampton

  • Search to Belong, The Arches Open Studious, Southampton

  • We Are Not Ourselves, Art in the Garden, Little Forest Land Art, Wickham

  • Adapting to the New Reality, Above Bar Street, Southampton


  • We Are Not Ourselves, Chalton Gallery, London

  • I Am Not Myself, Houskeeping, Jeannie Avent Gallery, London

  • Goldsmiths Degree Show, St. James Hatcham Church, Goldsmiths, London


  • I Am Not Myself, Mangoes into a Pub, Alfred Arms, Southampton


  • The Other, commissioned by ‘a space’ arts, Canute's Palace, Southampton


2023 La Vista Residency, Tenerife

2022 ecoSuites art Residency, Tristinika Beach, Greece

2019 School of Art, Design and Fashion, Southampton Solent University

2018 Look Up Residency, Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth
         Platform Graduate Award Alumni Residency, Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth

Conversation/ Talks/ Seminars/Publications

2023 Artists in Conversation: Lubaina Himid talks to Sarah Filmer, Ellen Gillet, and Olana Light, Southampton City Art Gallery

2022 Artist Talk curated by Kate Street, Art Space Portsmouth

2021 Artist Close Up, interview

         Exit, Ludvig Rage Book, London
         Corona Art, Ludvig Rage Book, London

2020 Chalton Gallery, Inside Artist Issue 17
         Sacred Vestments: Internal Roles. The crush of bodies at Chalton Gallery, Trebuchet

         Transformation: Everything Flows, ArtConnect Magazine

2019 APERO Catalogue Fine Art Publication ‘Dreams’


Group Exhibitions:


  • The Bute Street Festival, The Hat Factory, Luton

  • Every Breathe We Take, West Way Trust, London

  • Ulaidhean / Treasures: SSA at Gairloch Museum, Scotland 

  • EAST QUAY OPEN 2024: OPEN ABOUT IDENTITY, East Quay, Watchet

  • MK Calling 2024, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes

  • Rebirth and Regeneration, The Bulb, Southampton

  • Transformation, Plas Brondanw 2024 Open Exhibition, Wales 

  • Eight, CAS Emerging Sculptor Development Award Exhibition, Sir Harold Hillier Garden

  • Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition(Longlisted Artists), York

  • The 6th John Ruskin Prize: Seeing the Unseen, Hearing the Unspoken, The Byuo Store, London

  • Open Art Exhibition 2024, Gosport Museum and Art Gallery


  • Tap Mini Fringe Festival, The Queens Head, London

  • SSA 125TH Annual Exhibition I CUTLOG I VIEWPOINT, The Maclaurin Art Gallery, Ayr, Scotland

  • SSA 125TH Annual Exhibition: The Maclaurin Art Gallery, Ayr, Scotland

  • SpudOPEN 2023: Digital Dreaming, Spud, Sway, Hampshire

  • Open 2023: The Art of Sculpture, Quay Arts, Isle of Wight

  • GRIPE, Fringe Arts Bath 2023

  • RIPE FIVE, God’s House Tower, ‘a space’ arts, Southampton

  • Open 2023, curated by Rosalind Davis and Susan Francis, Chapel Arts Studios

  • Art in the Garden, Little Forest Land Art, Wickham

  • Common Thread, Guildhall Square, Southampton

  • Video Art Maiden, ToPikap, Thessaloniki, Greece

  • Inspirational Women Artists, ‘a space’ arts, God’s House Tower

  • Grad Race, Bridport Arts Centre, Bridport

  • 4th Wall Video Art, Axis Screening, Lisbon, Portugal


  • The Next Thing Award, Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre

  • SpudOPEN 2023: Our Changing Landscape, Sway, Hampshire

  • Grad Race, Bridport Arts Centre, Bridport

  • 4th Wall Video Art, Prospect Art Screening, Los Angeles, US


  • Society of Scottish Artists Exhibition, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh

  • Visions in the Nunnery, Nunnery Gallery, London

  • Aesthetica&Streetlife Changing Rooms Commission StreetLife Hub, York

  • Fringe 2022 OPEN Eco, Outdoor Hub Worthing Seafront

  • Issue 28 Metamorphosis, Haus-a-Rest, online

  • Inspired, Hampshire Open Studios, Making Space, Havant

  • Drift, Summerhall Cinema, Edinburgh

  • Open Exhibition 2022, The Spring, Havant

  • Open Exhibition 2022, Southampton City Art Gallery

  • NAE Open 2022, New Art Exchange Gallery, Nottingham

  • ecoSuites art Residency exhibition, Tristinika Beach, Greece

  • Little Forest Open Competition exhibition, North Boarhunt

  • Spring Exhibition, Lighthouse Gallery, London

  • Nasty Women Revive, Open House Hackney, London

  • Inspirational Women Artist, GHT, ‘a space’ arts, Southampton

  • WTD 2:2, Art Gallery, Middlesbrough, online


  • The Next Thing Award 2021, Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Park 

  • SHIM Eco Inaugural Show, URSA Gallery, Bridgeport, US

  • The Imaginarium of Dreams, We Shine, Portsmouth Guildhall

  • Lucky Dip Exhibition, GHT, ‘a space’ arts, Southampton

  • Arches Open Studios, Southampton

  • b-side Festival, Royal Manor Theatre, Portland

  • This is Not a Shop! Fringe Arts Bath, No 5 Broad St, Bath

  • ONE: Pandemic, Walk_Bye and Open Road Poetry, virtual

  • Birkenhead International Film Festival (BIFF)

  • Art In The Garden, Little Forest Land Art, North Boarhunt

  • Platform Art Projects Open Call, online exhibition

  • Alone, Together, curated by Shannon Skye Robinson, virtual

  • Wilderness, The Haven, St Pancras New Church, London

  • The Castle, Arthousehaus, London

  • Human Was Here, The Virtual Museum of Anthropocene 

  • The Identity, New Haus Gallery/Kofferraum Haus Gallery, Issue 9


  • 36th Annual Open Exhibition, Southwark Park Galleries, London

  • Without Borders, World University Of Design Delhi NCR, India

  • Sheroes in Quarantine Part II Virtual, London-art Creative

  • Sunny Art Prize 2020, Sunny Art Centre, London

  • Queens Hall Arts Digital - Micro Commission, Hexham

  • First-Time Filmmaker Sessions September 2020 P7, online

  • Degree Show, Goldsmiths University of London

  • Between Surrealism and Magical Realism, Beam Collective, online

  • Online Performance Art Festival 2020

  • Elysium International Film week, Elysium Gallery, Swansea

  • Person and the Otherness of Nature virtual, curated by Adele Lazzeri and Toby Kid

  • If 2020, 24-hour International Improvisational Festival, online

  • Lost, Lacuna Festival de Arte Lanzarote Fuerteventura digital, Spain

  • Post Quarantine I, curated by Maria Bourika, Video Art Miden Online, Greece

  • COVENT-19 online, curated by Faryal Arif & Nadin Hassan

  • The Sensation of Home, curated by Lisa Marinello, Fringe Arts Bath Festival

  • Girlhood, curated by Jess Holtaway, Fringe Arts Bath Festival virtual

  • Really//Real, curated by Toby Rainbird, Fringe Arts Bath Festival virtual

  • Homemade Mango Chutney virtual, A Space Arts, Southampton

  • In 24-Hours virtual, curated by Ayshia Taskin, The Wall Space Gallery, Scotland

  • Housekeeping, curated by Jessica Mankowska, Jennie Avent Gallery, London

  • Of Streets and Monsters, OKNA - Espaco Cultural, Portugal


  • Open Projection 4: Spectacle, Coventry Cathedral

  • Nasty Women Exhibition, Bovenfoyer van De Balie, Amsterdam

  • Black and White Christmas, Pineapple Black Gallery, Middlesbrough

  • Symbol, Cupola Gallery, Sheffield

  • Laboratory of Dissent 2: Inside/Outside, The Screen, curated by Susan Francis, Winchester School of Art

  • Harvest Short Film Competition Shortlist Screening, Lower Hewood Farm, Chard

  • Open Projections 3: curated by Martin Green, Coventry Cathedral

  • Open Show, Yellow Edge Gallery, Gosport

  • NOW Digital Festival, curated by Genetic Moo, Margate

  • Mangoes into a Pub, Alfred Arms, Southampton

  • Open Mouth Film Festival, University of the Arts, London

  • Self-Service, curated by David Theobald and Genetic Moo, St John’s Waterloo, London

  • Fantastic and Strange, curated by Clare Winnan, Fringe Arts Bath Festival, Bath

  • Self, curated by Toby Rainbird, Fringe Arts Bath Festival, Bath

  • Made in Southampton, Re:So, Southampton

  • ​Perceptions, LoosenArt, MFR 19 Festival, Rome

  • The Body Language, Venice Carnival 2019, The Room Contemporary Art


  • Visual Art Open Prize Exhibition, Chester Cathedral

  • Chester Arts Fair, Chester Racecourse

  • Journeys Festival International, LookUp: Searching for Home, Aspex Gallery, The Big Screen, No.6 Cinema, Southsea Library, Fratton Park, Portsmouth

  • Deptford X Festival, Gold X, Deptford Creek, London

  • Ripe Bananas, Alfred Arcade, Southampton

  • MFA Interim Show 2018, Goldsmiths University of London

  • Nasty Women International Art Prize Showcase Exhibition, Newcastle

  • Altered States, St John’s, Waterloo, London

  • This Temporary Matter, Fringe Arts Bath Festival, Bath

  • Efflorescence, Safehouse, London

  • End-of-Residency studio exhibition, Aspex, Portsmouth 

  • ​Platform, Aspex, Portsmouth


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