Threads of Tradition, Strokes of Innovation: Unraveling the Artistic Mastery of Onome Otite
In the world of art, where creativity and culture intertwine, there are artists who bridge the gap between tradition and innovation, offering us new perspectives and unique creations. One such talented artist is Onome Otite, a visionary mixed media artist whose works embody the rich tapestry of cultural heritage. Through a captivating fusion of traditional techniques and contemporary expressions, Onome’s art captivates and challenges viewers, inviting them on a journey of exploration and discovery.
In this interview piece, we delve into the fascinating world of Onome Otite and explore the intricacies of her creative process through her unique mixed media approach, she seamlessly blends elements of painting, sculpture, digital media, and found objects, giving birth to visually striking compositions that challenge preconceived notions of art.
Can you tell us about your artistic background and how you got started in mixed media?
However, it wasn’t until the late 2010s that I began to experiment with textiles and
mixed materials to create figurative artworks. I liked the process and so continued to dedicate more time learning new handcraft techniques.
What inspired you to incorporate African fabric into your installations and art portraits?
Can you walk us through your creative process, from concept to finished piece?
I will then sketch my ideas and designs. In the past I have attended life-drawing
classes to practice drawing the human form. To familiarise myself with the body in
motion I also enjoying watching dance performances, be that at an arts center or
The forming of shapes is the organic part of my process and depends on the type of material being used. Thick materials produce a sculptural effect when moulded and so extensive research goes into sculpture and three-dimensional art, whilst softer materials are malleable and easy to manipulate. I create folds and pleating details to suggest movement and flow.
How do you decide which materials to use for each project?
What message or themes do you hope to convey through your art?
clothing as a means of empowerment and to celebrate their womanhood. I use my work to tell stories and introduce new narratives of West African culture and
As a black artist, how do you think your work contributes to the larger conversation about representation and diversity in the art world?
topic, contributes to the larger conversation about representation and diversity in
the art world. However, I think the bigger conversation to have is why black artists
have that added pressure in the first place. Instead of making from a place of pure
enjoyment, we are conscious as to whether the work being produced is ‘black
enough’ or represents ‘diversity’ which I think is part of the problem and I’ll always
advocate for this.
Do you feel that there is enough representation and support for black artists in the art world? If not, what changes would you like to see?
What advice would you give to aspiring black artists who are just starting out?
Do you have any upcoming shows or exhibitions that our readers should know about? And how can we get in touch with you to learn more about your work?
My focus this year has been to work on private art commissions and work within the community to produce art workshop programmes. My current role as a creative consultant at the Welcome Collection in Euston, London continues this focus. I create workshop programmes to celebrate and bring awareness to different cultures and provide a space for people to find their creative side, de-stress and have a positive focus on their well-being.