Obiageli Annabel Zeinab Okigbo (b.1964 Ibadan)
Obiageli Okigbo is a Brussels-based Nigerian artist. Her training as an architect at the Oxford Brooks University and the Architecture Association (UK) left a strong imprint on her work, expanding her reach through new media and different supports, ranging from “Indian ink on linen” to oil paint and collage. In 2005, she launched the Christopher Okigbo Foundation tasked with researching and preserving the legacy of her father Christopher Okigbo, a poet who departed on the field of the Biafra war in 1967. The connection of her father's poetic legacy accentuates the multidisciplinary approach that Okigbo inscribes in her work, in which we recognize the influence of the Dutch Masters as much as appropriations of Igbo mythology.
She has participated in a series of exhibitions in Brussels, London, Dubai and Lagos
alongside her painting practice; she has recently started to experiment with photography, video and installation.
My approach to painting is that of an apprentice, and I turned to the Masters for everything I know about the craft; technique, composition, light, shadow, perfection...
I find inspiration from all aspects of life – our belief systems, behavioural patterns, aesthetic values amongst others.
In the Microcosm of my own visual world, I project the Macrocosm of the Universe.
My ongoing interest in ancient art and mythology has led me to a process of juxtaposing archetypes from different cultures and epochs with my personal experiences. This layering technique, combined with the profound effect of black ink on linen gives the painting a ‘timeless’ dimension, where past present and future coexist on the same plane”.
Layer upon layer, overlapping existences create a ‘timeless’ dimension where past, present and future coexist on the same plane. The paintings, like archaeological maps, reveal through their layers the passage of time, movement, traces, imprints…
My work is always self-examining. This inward gaze is often manifested in the form of the female figure. Indeed the underlying theme of my work is autobiographic, anchored on my multiple identities as an African /Nigerian /Igbo /Igbirra /British /Belgian woman.
Figurative and abstract, the female form with Goddess prowess; nurturer, mother, lover, spiritual provider, evoking a mood that transpires into places in time where chapters are crossed.
I’m continuously inspired by; Giotto, Sandro Botticelli, Da Vinci, Caravaggio, Cy Twombly, Paul Klee, Van Eyck brothers, Mark Rothko, Paul Gauguin, Frida Kahlo, Andrei Tarkovski, Joseph Beuys. Mbari art and ideology (Igbo Ukwu, Nigeria), Yoruba Ifa art and ideology, Indian-ink paintings by “Ohwon” Jang Seung-Ub (1843-97) & Shi Tao, the poetry of Christopher Okigbo (1932_67) & Hafez (13th century), the writings of Joseph Campbell, Afro-beat, Funk and Hip-Hop.
SOLO EXHIBITIONS -
ARTMAZON™ Inc. LTD UK
Kemp House, 160 City Road,
London, United Kingdom, EC1V 2NX
AFRINVESTALLY® Nigeria LTD.
Lekki, Lagos Island, Nigeria.