Ep.164 features Chidinma Nnoli (b. 1998 Enugu), a visual artist working primarily with painting. Her practice contemplates the importance of a single subject’s embodied experience(s), often overlaying the past unto the present while insisting on the emotional link between body and space in conflict with self and a background mostly saturated with religion and gendered obligations.
Growing up within a conservative Catholic home, Nnoli’s work moves between enclosed structures and ethereal landscapes where ideas of freedom and entrapment continuously overlap. Inspired by self-written poems, Nnoli empathetically captures women in paintings that feel like a hazy yet vivid memory. These figures—with their enigmatic expressions—find solitude and introspection within themselves. The same eerie atmosphere is consistent across the paintings, blurring, splattering and piling up paint in creating textures that reference efforts made at reaching or uncovering healing.
Nnoli earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Benin and has been invited to participate in residencies through PM/AM, London (2023), Atlantic centre for the Arts, Florida (2023) and Oxbow School of Art, Michigan (2023). Her paintings have been presented in solo and group exhibitions at Marianne Boesky Gallery, NewYork (2022), Rele gallery, Lagos (2021) and PM/AM gallery, London (2023), among others. She currently lives and works in Lagos.