ABOUT NATHALIE OKRA
|I’m a French artist from West Indian background (Martinique) and I’m actually living in Mayotte, a small Island of Indian Ocean between Tanzania and Madagascar. I’m working here as an artist and an art teacher. I’m a painter musician, and video artist. I explore the subject of women and children. I like to show the beauty and energy of women. I explore my inner African vibes too, in order to stay connected with deep my roots, which are West African and from Nigeria, more specifically. I use a lot of colors to express feelings and emotions, colors have such powerful symbolism and energy.|
What’s the purpose or goal of your work?
Nathalie: My goal is first of all, express myself, and often show the beauty of women, especially Black women who were so often belittled, when they’re Queens and Goddess in reality. I hope that my art can heal some hearts.
What was your inspiration behind the pieces being featured?
Nathalie: This canvas is inspired by a picture of a little boy from Mayotte, a small island in Indian Ocean, between Madagascar and Mozambique. It shows some sadness but resilience and hope, because some children here, have a tough life. There’s some poverty and juvenile delinquency. I ‘d like you to feel the struggle and the hope and ancestor’s legacy, represented by the African mask in the background. It’s a symbol of hope and perseverance. I made by myself a spray paint with watercolors, purple colors are soft and deep, I choose to represent the child with charcoal which is very deep black; strong but fragile at the same time if you don’t put fixative on it. I like to represent figuratives subjects, I like to tell a story that can touch the soul.
What was one of the most surprising things you’ve learned about yourself through your creative projects?
Nathalie: I learned that I can heal through my art, that I feel better when I paint, and my art can nourish my soul.
How has your art/writing shifted over your time as a Creative?
Nathalie: I started by using pastel then paintings, and now I m actually working on some videos and music project with always a link with my paintings.
Who is your favorite Artist/Writer and why?
Nathalie: My favorite artists are definitely artists from Ancient Egypt, and ancient Nigeria, Ife and African art in general. This art is a legacy of our ancestors, they’re aesthetically powerful, they’ve got often a spiritual meanings.