It is through the canvas that I can truly express myself. When I start a painting, there are no rules.
As I said before, my practice is very research-based. On the other hand, the process of creating the actual artwork is, to put it simply, a process of drawing. I do a lot of sketches, then take my sketches to the canvas as part of a magical experience. From there, I try to create a sort of creative flow, so I start putting my acrylic or oil on the canvas. My creative work is somewhat different, the process is systematic, and I plan. I have no rules when producing a conceptual artwork; I love the spontaneity of the outcome.
Sometimes I know what I’m going to do but most of the time I do everything by memory, at a later stage. I like being surprised by what comes out: you don’t know where you are going. I want it to express a woman mood, a lyrical way or a feeling with a colour and I want to choose from a wide range of emotions.
I face a lot of challenges just because of being a black female artist in the field. Challenges and obstacles for female artists in Nigeria (and probably in any other place) include marginalization. You asked me and yes, I feel dearly depressed. The art space is quite male dominated and orientated for the most part. Even though there are more and more women artists coming up everyday, there is still a huge gap and there just aren’t enough female voices. So, the male artists get more coverage but there is a real need for female artists to continue working beyond those limitations.
Female artists are not being equally recognized or given equal reception or gallery representation. There is an ever-present need to work twice as hard in order to be taken seriously.
by Isaac Eyafe
With his insightful, colourful digital collages, the young Nigerian artist Isaac Eyafe tells his story growing up in an ‘average’ Nigerian family as he calls it : it’s a story full of struggles but at the same time a journey of self love, self acceptance, mental strength and beauty. The images are accompanied by Isaac’s texts.