About Tim Oelman

I am an artist living and working in Harrow, London. Since taking my MA at London Metropolitan University in 2003, I have continued to explore sign and symbol through painting, textiles and sculpture using recycled material. My work as a whole draws on North and West African textiles and pre-classical European culture, in addition to the various aspects of Malian art and architecture.

My interest in the mud architecture of Mali led me to visit the country in 2006. Out of that visit came the interest in Bogolan and the pursuit of the technique to express my own ideas through the medium. This in turn led to the idea of collaborating with Mali artists and in February 2008 I was able to meet Kader Keita to discuss working together. The results were exhibited at the conference organized by the Mali Development Group and the Malian Community in London in November 2008. A joint exhibition at Hay on Wye followed in 2010.

Tapestry. I have been making flat weave tapestry for nearly twenty years since taking the first of many courses at Morley College, London. More recently I have become involved in contemporary tapestry through the British Tapestry Group.

My tapestry work is inspired by Moroccan rug making with its vibrant colours and the mix of formal pattern and improvisation (the “system and meander” approach), as well as the mysterious vocabulary of symbols and motifs employed. This in turn feeds into Bogolan design.

2018 WOW: Weft over Warp, British Tapestry Group London, group exhibition, Hepsibah Gallery, London
2014 52 Days to Timbuktu. Alison Richard Building, Cambridge. Tapestry & Bogolan retrospective 2000 to 2014
2011 Woven Threads. British Tapestry Group exhibition. Orleans House, Twickenham
2011 Harrow Open Studios. Multi-venue event with 33 local artists (founder member since 2008)
2010 Collaboration: Kader Keita & Tim Oelman. Addyman's Books, Hay on Wye
2008 Exhibition of work in collaboration with Kader Keita for Mali Now. Mali the Vision development conference. County Hall, London.
2007 Encounters. Group exhibition with Sandi Baker, Lynne Oelman & Francis Smith, Mile End Art Pavilion, London E3
2007 Cones along the Thames installation project. Thamesmead & Rainham Marshes
2007 Cones on the Fen, Wicken Fen, Cambridge. Installation and workshop
2006 Cones in Landscape installation, Ruislip Lido. Documentary follow-up exhibition: Gayton Road Library, Harrow
2005 Harrow Contemporary. London Gallery West, University of Westminster, Harrow
2004 Harrow Open. London Gallery West, University of Westminster, Harrow
Cairn Goddess 2004