Priestess, Acrylic on canvas, 30×40
It’s my pleasure to introduce African Art Wave’s August spotlight artist, Adulphina Imuede.
Adulphina is an avid writer, poet and painter … some may say that she is a creator and translator of beauty.
She’s a Nigerian artist born in Auchi, but originally from Agenebode, Edo State.
She graduated from the University of Lagos in 2016, where she studied visual arts, majoring in painting.
Her works have been exhibited in the 5th and 6th edition iDesign Art Fair and the 2nd edition of the Ibadan Art Fair.
Adulphina works mostly with watercolour, ink and acrylic. In viewing her work, it becomes apparent that the female form is her constant muse. Women of varied hues of brown and black are the constant variable in her art.
What drew me to her work was the level of familiarity in each of her paintings. Her work allows almost every black lady out there, young or old, to identify with a piece of her art at any given time.
I got the chance to connect with her to learn a little more about her and her work.
For those who may not know who you are, tell us a little about yourself.
Adulphina: I’m an artist based in Lagos, Nigeria. I’m the 3rd of three children. My name is Adulphina, my brother’s Adulphus … my parents must be critical thinkers, hahaaa. I’ve always been passionate about art and creating and I’m glad that I decided to stick with it.
How would you describe your art?
Adulphina: My art is a reflection of my thoughts, who I am and questions I ask myself. It’s represented mostly in stylised portraitures of women with different auras. Simply put, I would say that my art is stylised, surreal and sometimes experimental.
What feeling do you want people to have when they view your work?
Adulphina: I want people to find peace, feel satiety and be inspired whenever they look at my pieces.
Lilac sky (ii), Oil on canvas,
36×42 inches, 2019
I personally love your art. I love how it resonates with me as a young black woman – almost as though there is a small piece of me in each of your paintings. Do you have a ‘target’ audience for your art? Is the female being your constant muse?
Adulphina: I don’t really have a target audience. I just hope that whenever anyone sees my work, irrespective of race or gender, it makes them feel good and positive and at peace with themselves.
Yes, the female form is my constant muse. I love women, I am constantly inspired by women all over and around me. You can never fully capture a woman’s emotions because she has a lot of hidden emotions stemming from society and her experiences.
Azure, Acrylic on canvas,
36×42 inches, 2019
Watercolour paper, 2019
What inspires you to create?
Adulphina: Creativity is how I think, process thoughts and ideas. Even when I don’t have any concrete plans for a painting, I find myself still creating. It has become a part of me. It’s sometimes a way to ease off stress but overall it’s something I enjoy doing at any given time.
What has been your greatest achievement so far in your career?
Adulphina: My greatest achievement I would say would be deciding to be a full-time artist. I remember how scared and worried I was making the decision. I was so unsure about it all because being a full-time artist is tough especially here in Africa where white collar jobs are revered. I’m glad I took that risk. I realise how much peace I feel whenever I wake up to do what I love.
What has been the toughest thing you’ve had to overcome in 2020?
Adulphina: The toughest thing I think would be having patience for the Nigerian art scene and trusting my gut. At the end of the day, you’re the only one who is repping yourself at a 100%. You have to be really smart because a lot of people are out there trying to make you feel less so they can cheat you. Learning to handle this is definitely something that 2020 taught me. Also, being patient – if it’s good and it’s for you, it will definitely come. Just stay focused doing what you do.
What has been the most liberating thing you’ve experienced so far in 2020?
Adulphina: Liberating would be spending time with myself and just listening. It would be finding myself and the journey to finding my purpose.
We are all good at something or drawn to something. Have you ever just stopped for a moment to figure out the what and then the why?
I think that it helps you to really declutter emotions and relationships so that you can redirect and refocus all that energy into something good and meaningful.
Pas des fleurs dans le jardin,
Mixed Media on paper, 2020
Adulphina: I would love them to be people who feel my work deeper than just aesthetic values. I love when people tell me how my work holds their gaze with so much emotion. I love when they say it inspires them or brings them peace and calmness. It makes me feel like I’m doing something right.
What is one message you would like to share with our African Art Wave platform?
Adulphina: Always trust your gut and how you feel.
What is one thing you think the world needs more of?
Adulphina: Honestly, I think the world needs more love. More people to spread and be a reflection of that love. It has to start with you and me