Concluding the final phase of our Gallery Talks series, we explore each artist's influence, process. and core themes depicted in their works - at our recent group exhibition ‘Interconnected’, in collaboration with Arneli Art Gallery. Wande Oseni is a visual artist whose artistic journey began at a young age after being exposed to animation and comic books. Later, her interest in art grew beginning with doodling and scribbling, progressing through a variety of mediums.
Oseni’s works are a reflection of her thoughts, opinions, and commentary on current events in her community and around the world. She prefers, but is not limited to, acrylics as a medium for realising her ideas. Wande has a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Finance from the University of Lagos, and currently lives and works in Lagos.
What inspires your style?
Femininity and Universality.
What sort of experimentation has led you to your current style as an artist?
Experimentation with different mediums including digital painting.
Why did you start making art? How did you kickstart your artistic endeavour?
Started as a natural hobby and a means of expressing my thoughts and commentary on things happening around me. I first started with redrawing animations then over time the works of other artists inspired me to explore more.
What other artists, genres or movements do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from other artists like Rene Magritte, J.W Godward, Olatoye David, Samson Bakare and Tonia Nneji to name just a few for their discipline and dedication. I am also inspired by surrealism and landscape art.
If you could change one aspect of society or social issues through your work, what would it be?
Attitude towards gender equity and mental health.
What do you do to get into your creative zone?
Reading and listening to music
What are the biggest challenges you've had in your art?
Availability and affordability of art supplies
Your recent paintings embody strong themes, can you give us an insight into the driving inspiration behind them?
Femininity and Individuality. A sense of self and confidence exuded by women irrespective of their choice of attire/ appearance. To not be placed in a stereotypical box that defines what a woman is allowed to or should be.
Has technology had any impact on your artistic practice? In what ways has it affected or shaped it?
Technology has helped in terms of exposure to other creatives, reducing distance barriers between artists and audience as it has helped my art reach a wider audience and opportunities and also in my explorations of digital painting.
What ultimate messages do your creative expressions convey?
Strengths in individuality and unity as well as a better perception of femininity.
What influences your creative process when working on Art of the Feminine? Does it go beyond culture for you?
I'm influenced by the impact art has in changing the narrative of what femininity is, away from assumptions and misconceptions, in shedding more light and better knowledge of what being a woman is which is beyond just one thing.
Are there any recurring themes in your work, or are there any that have emerged as your work has evolved?
A recurring theme in my works are natural elements of skies, landscape and architecture besides the distinct use of black skin tones and biological gender symbol used to represent the subject heads which has evolved into a more 3d style over time.
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 the exhibition here.