Emmie Nume: Embodied Imagination

Liste Art Fair 2023, Basel, Switzerland
12 Jun 2023 - 18 Jun 2023

Emmie Nume, Puberty (Detail), 2022, Mixed-Media on Canvas, 165x150cm, Courtesy of Afriart Gallery

Emmie Nume, Puberty (Detail), 2022, Mixed-Media on Canvas, 165x150cm, Courtesy of Afriart Gallery

At Liste Art Fair 2023 in Basel, Afriart Gallery presents a solo presentation by Emmie Nume. Nume’s paintings and drawings reflect a deeply intuitive practice. While focusing on portraiture, he captures the essence of emotions through spontaneous and free expression – devoid of any meticulous formal and academic calculation of his figures and scenes. His ability to combine spontaneous abstraction and figurative complexities speaks of the freedom he grants himself while creating. Mainly working with charcoal, pastels, and acrylics on canvas and paper, Emmie Nume adds spontaneous use of collage and found objects and other media and techniques to his works.

The concept centers around the connections between embodiment, imagination, self-consciousness, and Nume’s artistic practice. As Nume enters the phase of creating, his conscious mind lets go of the initial thoughts which brought him into the studio and he allows his body and the material to enter a different way of thinking. The hands become the brain, as the artist describes this stage of the process. Drawing and painting become a subconscious imaginative act in which the conscious mind often catches the subconscious doing something that, at first sight, is far off the initial thoughts.

Emmie Nume’s drawings eventually present a visceral experience – a fusion of an initial question thought and the embodied interrogation of it. The works become a manifestation of a subconscious reflection on a question, allowing for the freedom to let the mind sway. I see myself in the final pieces, the unknown and the vulnerability that goes along with it becomes me, the artist states.

He describes himself as obedient to ideas. Being someone who thinks deeply and a lot, he tends to get consumed by the train of his thoughts. With his art practice, though, he found a way to be less troubled by them. Instead of trying to control his thoughts, he mindfully set out to experience every layer of them and allows himself to be taken on a ride to the unknown.

Every creation, he says, is a new experience, something new learned.




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