Introducing this month's Artist Spotlight: Iriée Zamblé, an Amsterdam-based visual artist whose work can currently be seen in Saatchi Gallery's Standing on the Shoulders of Giants exhibition.

Iriée's work has been shown in numerous museums, galleries, and art fairs such as Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Workplace Gallery London and Art Rotterdam, and explores the existing norms surrounding portraiture by means of drawing and painting. She draws inspiration from everyday life, concepts dissecting the notion of black identity and her West-African heritage.

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants is a showcase of emerging and established Dutch female artists with an aim of creating collaboration and solidarity among women in the arts. The exhibition draws inspiration from the rich history of giants like Rachel Ruysch and Saar de swart with a clear intent to reshape the narrative for the current and future generations of women artists.

Catch Iriée Zamblé at the Saatchi Gallery in London until Sunday 12 May.

Can you tell us about your work in ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants’?

This diptych ‘Lovers Rock’ was created during my six month residency at Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. It was an introspective time where I could challenge myself to try out new things considering figuration. ‘Lovers Rock’ is the first work that came out of this new series with faces being sort of cut out by their white surroundings.

What inspires your work?

Parallels in West-African cultures and its diaspora and how my Dutch identity plays a part in that. Through painting, I search to give an expression and meaning to this.

What trends do you see emerging in the arts in 2024?

More textiles.

If you weren’t an artist, you’d be…

An agent for artists, someone who would negotiate and pursue the business side for them.  

Other than a phone and keys, what’s the one item you always have on you?


How do you relax when you’re not working?

Seeing my close friends and family. When I’m in need of alone time I like to be outside in nature.

What’s your favourite-ever piece of art (that you own or wished you owned)?

‘Promised land’ by Serana Angelista.

Find out more about Standing on the Shoulders of Giants here.