One remarkable thing about an art collection is the diverse stories you can craft from it. So, comparing the painter’s brush to the writer’s pen isn’t a far call.To Craft stories in every line, the artists defines spaces with colors and re-echoes the journey with every showcase. There truly is a never ceasing fusion of art and storytelling and artist Sloane Ikenga manifests this in so many ways than one.
She has skillfully combined storytelling, art, film production, and human development strategy into one enviable creative career. In this interview, she shares her story and what makes her recent art collection Imperfections a unique reflection and acknowledgement of the Spiritual realities existing around her. Look out for her 3 most favorite pieces in this interview.
Hi Sloane, It’s really nice to meet you. Saw from your biography that you identify as igbo-french, that sounds pretty interesting. Can you tell us more about growing up and how this influenced your choice ups and interests?
First let me say – thank you for this interview. Growing up for me involved lots of travelling, I lived in more than a handful of African countries so that kind of exposure opened my mind up to possibilities early. The French part of my identity has a lot more to do foreign influence on parts of my roots that touch Cameroon and Cote D’ivoire. But when we narrow it down to family ties, I’m Igbo first.
You’re a storyteller, a writer, a film producer, and an artist, that’s a really great combo. Did you decide at a certain time in your life to be all of this, or you just went with the flow?
It’s always been there, all of it I mean, from how far back I can trace remembering anything. But as life tends to be with parents who want the best for us, I focused on other areas professionally until recently during and after the pandemic and some other life altering events, I decided enough is enough. Since then I’ve been focused on my work as a storyteller amongst other things.
Your other interests must have had an effect on the kind of art you are more tilted towards, can you tell us about that?
Yes, definitely. If I were to be a philosopher, my focus area might have been metaphysics. I don’t know that we have such categorization with visual art so I’ll just say the kind of art I’m more tilted towards is rooted in spirit reality. It tells a story eventually, but first it aims to fill the mind of its audience with wonder and the sort of curiosity that’ll often lead to learning a new thing about a spiritual reality. Whatever the case is, a subliminal message would have been passed on, even when the engagement with my work stops at just wonder.
Now let’s talk about Imperfections. 33 unique pieces. It’s really an awesome collection. We would all love to know the story behind the entire collection
Thank you for your compliment, it’s kind. The idea of Imperfections came to me like most other creative projects tend to come to me. While taking a walk, having a shower, listening to someone speak, engaging in other artists work etc I don’t remember but it came the usual way, without warning. And then I just absolutely had to get it done, one piece at a time. I’m a huge fan and ‘radical girl’ for Jesus, who’s also the greatest recorded metaphysician, so basing my acknowledgement for the collection on his age was a no-brainer. Everything else seemed to come easy after that, I had a road map of how far to go and each act of obedience led to the next piece becoming available to my mind’s eye.
Do you have your favorite pieces in the collection, if you do, can you tell the story behind your top 3 from the collection?
Gosh, that’s a difficult one because I love all of them almost equally. But for the sake of your question I’ll highlight ’12 parts of the body’, ‘akụ’, and ‘Wounded soul’. When I did 12 parts of the body, I felt the need to highlight those parts of our bodies we seem to be in conflict with the most for whatever reason and those parts I painted in the piece seemed to be calling out to me the most. For akụ, it’s the igbo word for wealth and not just the worldly kind, but the other worldly kind. It seemed to be asking me to MOTIFy it so I did. And for wounded soul, the day I painted that piece I was all up in my feelings literally. I was grieving, missing loved ones, feeling alone in the world yet the divine seemed to be right there through it all with me. So I painted how we felt.
From your perspective as a human development strategist, what was the one thing you would say imperfections was poised to address in society and in the art Industry?
I don’t know that it’s poised to address anything in the society and art Industry to be honest. But in retrospect, I can say there are spiritual realities (for me) that exist within our cultures that needed to be acknowledged through my art and they demanded my acknowledgement with this collection. So as an artist I did my job, which was to obey and produce the work. How it’ll reflect on society and the art Industry are things we’re all curious about, especially me.
Would you say there are materials or resources you feed on that fuels your inspiration? Can you share some of them and how they influenced this collection
I read, watch and listen to lots of artists I admire all the time and they most definitely help keep my creative energy tank full. I love Angelique Kidjo, Asa and Geoffrey Oryema’s music and I rely on them the most when I’m painting or doing creative work. As for influence on this collection, it came from a very ripe place within myself that needed to be touched and seen.
What do you look forward to in your journey as an artist and a storyteller?
I look forward to continuously and consistently facing my work as an artist and a storyteller, whether publicly or in private. I look forward to relishing its fruits. I look forward to enjoying doing the work for as long as my lifetime lasts. I look forward to seeing it have the kind of impact it kept a secret even from me.
Where can people find your works and interact with it?
For now I try to link everything on my website – sloaneangelou.com, anyone interested can also find a display of the Imperfections collection there. There’ll be more add-ons soon, and they’ll all be updated on my website eventually.
This has been great. Thank you.