Artist Buki Animashaun has joined forces with other female artists for a new art showcase at Rele Art Gallery titled ‘Her Story’. Whilst you may not have heard of Buki before, don’t feel estranged as the artist is one that is currently on our radar – one to watch.
Through her art she explores the culture and communication in abstract pieces that seek to maximize communication, inspired by social, economic and political cultures, through time and evolution.
As an artist Buki Animashaun is also examining symbolism and expressions that form principles of community as the world becomes more digital. What is Buki’s story like? What inspired her journey as an artist? We had the honour to have a word with the visual artist to get to know how views on life, gender and art.
We know most people don’t like to describe themselves but could you tell us – Who are you Buki?
My name is Olubukunola “Buki” Animashaun. I was born in Lagos, Nigeria and I am a visual artist.
Did you always want to be an artist?
No. I’ve never taken to the label…or any label. I’ve always wanted to be fulfilled though and art has been the most fulfilling channel that I’ve ever experienced. So much so that I’m willing to accept the label as true.
Tell us about the “Black Hearted” Series
This series is about keeping it together. Challenging the ability to see my kind of love, culture, expression and sameness through universal symbols.
Why did you choose mixed media as your medium?
Though I am quite committed to a phase primarily expressed through acrylic paints on canvas, generally, mixed media is exciting because there are no rules to it. I can build more dynamically.
What is the best part about working with mixed media?
There’s a always a puzzle to solve with the construction of each piece. Every colour, stroke or line has a place; you just have to find it.
You talk about exploring symbolism and expression in your work. Could you elaborate on the symbolic elements that have influenced your work and why?
I express through a lens that is connected to contemporary Yoruba cultural issues against the backdrop of my suburban American young adulthood. Using the blend of western and somewhat universal symbols such as the heart shape with strokes reminiscent of Yoruba facial markings in a piece such as “Stop Shouting”, from the Black Hearted series is a demonstration of this symbolism.
What do they mean to you?
Imagery and symbols define the world for me. To understand people and culture, it’s always interesting to study the symbols and imagery used to communicate in the community. Yoruba facial markings can seem barbaric and antiquated as a practice but their relevance as a cultural anchor needs to be acknowledged, addressed and evolved. What they signify needs to be preserved.
You are part of the upcoming exhibition at Rele Gallery, ‘Her Story’. Tell us a bit about this exhibition and how else do you believe you can raise awareness on gender issues?
For me, gender issues are common sense human issues. To be aware of them is to open your eyes.
As a young Nigerian woman, what’s your stance on gender?
It’s a biological label; one that is becoming more abstract by the day.
A lot of women artists are talked about in terms of their lives and that biographical reading puts women into a box. In your case for example, how would you want to be described as a female artist?
I would want to be described as an artist who created from her honest perspective of inclusion and equity.
If you were not an artist, what would you be?
Mmmmm, It would be pretty cool to be a physicist…
Which work of art would most describe your life?
I haven’t found one yet.
Where can we find your art works?
Besides showing at the group exhibition at Rele Gallery in Lagos, my work is displayed on my website www.bukimanimashaun.com
What’s next after ‘Her Story’ art exhibition?
I’m considering going to the US to do a couple of residencies; I want to take an opportunity to step away from what inspires me and see my expression from a different perspective.
Artist Buki Animashaun’s art exhibition “Her Story”, opens on February 26th 2017 at Rele Art Gallery at 5 Military Street, Onikan, Lagos. Make sure you visit the art gallery and check out the exhibition.