In our recent Gallery Talk series, we interview each artist, discovering their creative process and the underlying themes represented in their works, which are currently on display at our group exhibition "Interconnected," in collaboration with Arneli Art Gallery.
Anthonia Ndukauba, from Abia State, Nigeria is a conceptual artist whose artistry focuses primarily on figurative depictions of the human body in their natural form. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Fine and Applied Arts (painting major) from Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ebonyi State.
Ndukauba uses her artwork as a medium to challenge society's unrealistic body ideologies, believing that through the portrayal of relatable human forms, she will inspire genders to confidently embody their figures and emphasise their natural essence.
She has participated in a number of exhibitions, including two solo shows in Ibadan, Nigeria, and predominantly works with conventional materials such as oil, acrylic paint and charcoal on canvas and paper.
In her recent works, Ndukauba takes us into the inner realm of her subjects; usually delineated and pictured in poses that convey strong emotions and vulnerable contemplations; inquiring deep into the abyss of the psychological and its relatable influence on the internal states of the self.
The artist’s fascination with colours can be observed from her application of vibrant palettes rendered in complementary contrasts both in the figures and in the background set up, an influence from various experimental and conceptual art practices harnessed since her childhood years. Lustrous, bold and appealing are other words that envelope the visuality of Anthonia’s works.
Working primarily with mixed media - brush strokes and drawing scribbles, she defines the figure of her subjects; painted in their natural forms, ridding them of faux validatory materials and apparels.
Why did you start making art? How did you kickstart your artistic endeavour?
I have always been passionate about creating and colouring things. As a child, I used my mum’s nail polish and lipsticks to paint on old calendars, and also deliberately poured chocolate drinks on our walls because I loved the dripping effect that it gave. As time progressed, few people noticed my creative energy and encouraged me to study fine arts and the rest they say, is history.
What inspires your style?
The freedom that comes with being an artist to be expressive and personal experiences.
What sort of experimentation has led you to your current style as an artist?
Exploring different media and a quest to discover how colours work aesthetically.
What other artists, genres or movements do you draw inspiration from?
I’m solely inspired by the works of Tracey Emin and Francis Bacon
What do you do to get into your creative zone?
What are the biggest challenges you've had in your art?
Lack of Financial support and the struggle with putting my art in the best possible platform for the world to see what I’ve got to offer.
What ultimate messages do your creative expressions convey?
Self awareness and freedom as a living being.
If you could change one aspect of society or social issues through your work, what would it be?
Addressing Mental health issues
Are there any thoughts you wish to share in relation to the theme of interconnectedness? (the impact the global events of the last 3 years have had in your artistic endeavours as a female artist)
Yes, a lot…
However, I used it as an opportunity to develop my creative skills, while hoping for better days.
Has technology had any impact on your artistic practice? In what ways has it affected or shaped it?
Not so much. Although the use of phones allows us to see and get inspired by the works of other great artists via social media platforms etc.
Are there recurring themes in your work, or any that have emerged as your work has evolved?
I’ve evolved from creating realism to abstraction, which is my current phase, but as I earlier mentioned, I have the freedom to keep exploring diverse things until whenever.
What are you working on now and next?
Nothing at the moment. I am putting more of my energy towards my upcoming MFA program which requires me to relocate and be back to school!
INTERCONNECTED - A group exhibition of 18 women artists from across Africa and the Middle East; showcasing 36 works in a variety of mediums and perspectives outlined in paintings, mixed media and digital art. Bordering between the known and the unknown, abstraction and figuration; the selected artists examine the interconnected complexities of human experience detailed through distinct artistic styles and approaches - in personal theory and form.
Visit exhibition here.