+ Artist statement
I have this incessant need to tell the world the Truth about Africans and the diaspora.
As a West-African woman born and raised in America, I experienced an identity crisis early on in life: I was torn between being both Black American and Nigerian. These groups, vastly different in culture in many ways and so misunderstood of each other, tugged at me on both ends. Worn out from this push and pull, I went searching, and in the most beautiful, eye-opening ways, I found the history everybody had missed out on. I found out there wasn't much separation between my bloodline and my birthplace.
My work is rooted in the visual depictions of Ancient African spirituality before colonialism and Christianity. Using 24 karat Gold, age-old African practices with glass beading, and communication through fabric and clothing, I consecrate the symbols of our spirituality that modern religion used to turn Black people against ourselves. It's important to me that Africa and its closest descendants are finally credited for their immense impact on the global unconscious mind and spirit. After all, it birthed humanity.
As of now, I am only interested in all things centered around reminding Africa and the African diaspora of its Divinity, in whatever way possible. Period. This is meticulous, yet rewarding, and overall, spiritual. I want to get back to making it about the essence of the process, just like my ancestors did. With this, I hope my visuals trigger something inside the viewer that nags and gnaws and pulls them into their own tug of war to go searching for the truth-- their Truth.
Nneka Osueke is a painter and sculptor who depicts themes of African history, spirituality, Black empowerment, and the human mind. A first generation Nigerian born and raised in Dallas, Texas, she received her Bachelor's in Fashion Merchandising from Sam Houston State University in 2013. Shortly after, Nneka moved to Los Angeles, CA to begin her career in design, but surprisingly, found herself pursuing a Master's in Clinical Psychology and her artistry full-time. Thus, she discovered the golden bridge between her purpose and her passion: merging art, African psychology, and mental health advocacy together.
Osueke’s work has exhibited in Italy, Jamaica, Thailand, and across the U.S. in Miami, Houston, Dallas, and Los Angeles. She has presented on and participated in discussions about African Spirituality and the connections between mental health and creative expression. Osueke currently lives and works in Chiang Mai, Thailand.