Up next in our 'Proud To Be' series celebrating UK Black History Month is Afekwo Nnachi. A completely self-taught painter, Afekwo is inspired by the everyday around her - animals, nature and her children.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a self-taught realist painter, influenced by impressionism and abstract art. I was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and currently live in Bridgewater, New Jersey, with my family. Oil and watercolour are my preferred mediums.
Describe your art in three words.
Modern realist art.
What inspires you as an artist?
Nature; I always paint from my immediate environment. This includes people closest to me, places I’ve visited and still life compositions deliberately pulled together. Songbirds, a series of colourful bird paintings I regularly revisit, was inspired by birds feeding in my backyard.
Who's an artist you admire?
There are so many to pick from. One of my favourite modern artists is Njideka Akunyili Crosby. I admire how personal her art is, using multimedia to tell intimate stories - I love her work.
Have you faced any challenges through the course of your career?
Only the challenge of anonymity.
Do you have a message for readers regarding the UK’s Black History Month?
Black History Month is much needed to educate and incorporate the history of all people. Historically, celebrated art has excluded people of colour, both in representation of subjects and artists. I am encouraged that this is changing and my children will grow up in a world that is inclusive for all races.
Cover image via Afekwo Nnachi