Basil Olton is an artist, curator and researcher with studies in ceramics, fine art practice and arts management and public policy.
His practice is influenced by the relationship between materiality and the still image, experimenting between the differing modes of application and specificity to explore the effect of colonialism on institutional memory, commemoration and identity and the wider relationship with private and public space, power and display. Through exploration of personal and collective histories, Basil creates an aesthetic to re-imagine the rupture of Caribbean art and culture.
Utilising archives as a mode of expression and social document, Basil has curated exhibitions A Necessary Fiction (2017) , an investigation into the decolonisation of narratives that occupy public institutions; Look We Here: Curating the Caribbean (2018) at the V&A, London, unpacking the meaning and representation of Caribbean art and culture; and Blaque Plaques (2018), a critique of the erasure of Black histories.
Basil is the founder and director of Highgate Art School, promoting a diverse understanding of contemporary art at a grassroots community level and a consultant for the British Arts Network with the remit to widen participation, re-interpreting existing structures and narratives to promote a wider view of British art history.
In 2023 Basil is the ECG Continuity Representative on the BAN steering group.