about me

Although I am the first generation of my family born in England, my Sierra Leonean & Lebanese heritage directly informs my practice. I aim to empower often marginalised minorities through the exploration of identity within portraiture. Using my drawings to start an ongoing discourse confronting socio-political issues, specifically regarding the perception of various demographics as being of lesser humanistic value. With the disenfranchised often being undermined by mainstream media; which somewhat paradoxically reflects an archaic hierarchy of status similar to colonial ideologies. 


Using antique texts and maps as the canvases for my works has been a constant within my practice. This process of re-contextualising ephemera creates a cohesion between the concepts informing the work and the aesthetic output. As I empower various figures; I simultaneously do so with the ground used as I place them within new contexts. Usually using myself or family members as the subjects of my portraits creates a sense of immediacy, apropos to navigating the intersection of my western upbringing and familial west African culture. 


Regularly drawing with ballpoint pen enables me to call upon traditional draughtsmanship techniques, influenced by sketches from the high renaissance. Through an almost contradictory process of using this relatively modern art medium with a classical approach to mark making: I look to celebrate authentic drawing within the digital age.

Habib Hajallie with self portrait.jpeg


July 2021, Young Artist Award - winner - Society of Graphic Fine Art

May 2021, The Anthony J Lester Art Critic Award - Highly Commended - Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour

April 2021, The De Laszlo Foundation Prize - Highly Commended - Royal Society of British Artists

December 2020, NG Art Residency Prize - winner - Wells Art Contemporary

February 2020, National Lottery: Project Grants – Grant Winner– Arts Council

February 2020, Signature Art Prize: Drawing & Printmaking – Winner – Degree Art

January 2020, Embracing Our Differences Exhibit 2020 – Best in Show – Embracing Our Differences Org

November 2019, Discerning Eye Drawing Bursary 2019 – Runner up – Parker Harris

October 2019, Draw ‘19 – Under 30s Prize Winner- The Society of Graphic Fine Art

July 2019, Artists Collecting Society Studio Prize 2019 – finalist – Artist’s Collecting Society

January 2019, Developing Your Creative Practice Grant – Grant winner – Arts Council England

March 2018, Bloomberg New Contemporaries – class of 2018 – New Contemporaries

May 2016, Jorge Aguilar-Agon Student Artist Award – winner - Fine Art Trade Guild

Habib Hajallie's CV