Fragrant Kaleidoscope: Art by Nkechi Abii
Helluurrr…:) It was with so much expectations that I walked through the doors of Didi museum on this fateful day with my friend Tee. I’m quite sure if you had touched me you’d have been shocked by waves of excitement!! I was going to see Nkechi Abii’s latest work!! Fragrant Kaleidoscope had been exhibiting for a few days before I showed up so when Kachi of Black Fabulousity told me this was to be the last day, I knew I had to show up.
First I should mention that the Didi Museum is such a beauty. I had never been there prior to this day. You could easily miss it on your drive along Akin Adesola way, VI, Lagos, but if you look carefully you’ll find it. So I walked in and these two nicely looking men welcomed us in the warmest way. I later found out they were her sons. The room was littered with lots of art lovers and I wasn’t the least bit surprised. Nkech Abii has been off the grid for about 3 years so yes she was clearly missed! And then I saw them. The incredibly beautiful art works. Hanging majestically on the Didi walls, calling all of our names. hehehe. Some left me breathless, some in awe, and others wondering. Their names were quite interesting too, I couldn’t help but giggle.
After a few minutes of staring, touching, and snapping away, Nkechi Abii approaches me. She has got to be the one with the kindest smile ever. Nkechi Abii is a renowned visual artist with lots of exhibitions to her credit. She studied graphic arts at the University of Nsukka. Her eclectic and creative styles are refreshing! I asked if I could ask her a few questions and she immediately obliged!
These are very interesting pieces, I see a lot of flowers as well, what inspires your art?
Basically I’m inspired by my environment. You’re right about the flowers. People say I tend towards creating somewhat gloomy pieces so this time I decided to showcase life, laughter and colours. That way people can see other sides of my creativity.
Awesome. So its safe to assume that you’re telling a story with each of these pieces?
Oh yes I am. And that mostly inspires their names. However I like to hear what people think the story of each painting is. For instance, with the “Red Bang Theory” I’ve heard at least 3 different interpretations today. You called it “The Emancipation” which I also found very interesting. So yes I tell my stories, but also allow my audience tell a story too.
I’m curious ma, where you ever hindered from pursuing your dreams? Any oppositions from family when you started?
Oh no, fortunately that wasn’t my case at all. I had lots support from my family. Whenever I wanted to paint, they’ll let me be at the garden and I concentrated on my craft. Interestingly my first son is also an artist and he in turn has all of our support. Sadly he can’t be here today but we’ve done an exhibition together! It was titled “Genes Apart”. You should have been there, it was lovely. I took a bit of a break though to concentrate on my family but now I’m back.
I’m sure you’re expecting this question, who would you say influenced your style?
Hmmm…I wouldn’t say influenced but there are quite a number of Nigerian artists whom I greatly respect. The likes of Nkechi Nwobu-Igbo and Nsikak Essien. Nsikak was just here some moments ago. They do amazing works and I admire them greatly. We learn from each other, and grow.
…..We had quite an interesting conversation on almost every piece that caught my fancy but so I don’t make this post unbearably long, lets just stop here. Hehehe.
If you’re interested in any or all of her pieces you can visit Didi Museum for more info. Hope you enjoyed this piece?
Photography: Eniola Tito and I
Paintings: Nkechi Abii
*hugs and kisses*