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Let’s Lend A Hand
Depicts a lady delivering a speech to the paparazzi.
Exquisitely painted by the very talented Gerard Osenele Ukpan.
I grew up in Ubiaja, a village in Nigeria. It has an inspiring nature trail and I remember growing up and how it was so natural to find beautiful Birds by ‘the doorsteps’ as well as Snakes sun bathing in the backyard. Growing up was fun and reading the language of nature in the absence of words has always thrilled and inspired me. Often times we would spot Vultures hovering up in the sky over sick farm animals on the verge of dying, or some other animals that had been knocked down by vehicles. We actually saw the vultures wait patiently for the animals to give up the ghost in order to have a meal.
This contrast of life and death as well as the infamous ‘middle passage’ has always intrigued me – thus the beginning of my journey.
I have always been a poet who often sketched as a hobby whilst commuting to and from work. It was never anything serious until I met Ulf Sandstrom, a Swedish Life Coach, trauma tapper and an excellent pianist. I saw the entire spectrum of my career as an artist whilst working with Ulf.
It all started when Ulf asked me to turn words into images in order to educate illiterate adults and street kids. I created series of images with ballpoint pens on the train (sometimes on the bus) whilst travelling to and from work. The time I spent travelling was the only time I had for myself, so I turned London transport into a studio. Together Ulf and I created therapeutic images to help people find the roots of their problems. We call them Path finder Cards. He always said to me ‘keep it going’ and even if the image went wrong he said ‘let your subconscious take control’
For another two years I was creating portraits, surrealist and abstract pieces with ballpoint pens (biros) on the train. My style has now evolved into a pure and unadulterated language that is intended to speak deeply to your soul without any need for translation.
The time I spent working with a difficult medium like ballpoint pen(s) turned me into the artist that I am now. At the moment I use mainly oil, pastels, acrylic or charcoal – it depends on my state of mind, the materials available or the customer’s choice. My two favourite media are oil and pastels.
Learning through the hard way has made me a fast painter that never fails to pay attention to the details.
YOU CANNOT CHANGE THE WORLD – BUT YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR WORLD…. SO LET’S GET STARTED!
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