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Graduate Diploma – A Space To Discover Your Artistic Voice

portrait of Sosa Yande
Sosa Yande
Sosa Yande is originally from Benin City, Nigeria, but lives in Lagos, Nigeria. She came to the RCA to study on the Communication pathway of the Graduate Diploma Art & Design.

What brought you to studying at the RCA?

I was at a point where I felt like I needed to establish a visual identity for myself – a unique visual language (or languages) that encompasses all my skills and interests. I wanted to figure out who Sosa the artist is. I was hungry for knowledge and understanding of the art and design world as I came from a fashion promotion and imaging background. 

What are you up to right now?

I’m working on my current project about the long lasting legacy of colonialism and its effects on the black body and mind in the context of the culture surrounding Afro-Caribbean hair. It’s about physiological conditioning and mental oppression. It is about relationships between people and unspoken notions of power birthed from a history of colonialism.

It's Just Hair...Is it?
It's Just Hair...Is it?, Sosa Yande 2019
Who’s your favourite person at the RCA?

My favourite person here at the RCA would definitely be Nathan Francois – a tutor on the Graduate Diploma in Art & Design course who’s a walking encyclopaedia! Such a hub of knowledge, he really inspires me to read and shows a lot of support to everyone on the course. Also, Sam who works as security on the White City campus – he’s just so diligent, he’s the first person you see when you walk in and the last person you see when you walk out – he keeps the place running. 

What’s been your most memorable moment at the RCA so far?

I haven’t had a particularly memorable moment yet but I imagine it’ll be the final exhibition in August. 

Sosa Yande
Mtcheeww, Sosa Yande 2019
How would you summarise the RCA in three words:

Challenging, stimulating and connecting 

How has being at the RCA changed you, or your practice?

It has completely reshaped my process and helped me to think much more conceptually than I ever have before. The saying ‘nothing is new under the sun’ has really come alive for me here, in that it has taught me that the race to originality is best run with knowledge of past art and conversations around whatever concept I’m working on. The RCA is big on in-depth knowledge of historical and contemporary precedents as a way of contextualising yourself and being aware of your paradigm of interest. 

Who is your favourite artist or designer?

I don’t have one particular favourite so I’ll name a few: Lorna Simpson, John Zabawa and Martin Creed

What three words describe your creative process:

Hands-on, emotive and empathetic

What has inspired you recently?

I was really inspired by the album Whack World by Tierra Whack. I am greatly inspired by the annual 1-54 art fair held at Somerset House. 

Film still by Sosa Yande
Left Behind, Sosa Yande 2019
film still

Do you have a favourite gallery or museum in London?

The Saatchi Gallery always does it for me.

How do you unwind?

Sleep and speaking in other tongues  

What do you have planned for your time post-RCA?

I’m ready to create audio visual experiences that encompass my music – that's something I haven’t had much of a chance to do while on the fast paced Graduate Diploma Art & Design course.

Find out more about Graduate Diploma Art & Design at the RCA and how to apply.