Azubuike Exhibition – Our Sacred World Exhibition: 12-18 May 2022!
Azubuike will be exhibiting with us at Muswell Hill Gallery!
Private Viewing: Thurs 12 May 2022, by invitation only.
Exhibition until Sun 18 May 2022!
Come and see the collection…
Azubuike Ani Biography
Nigerian London-based artist, Azubuike Ani, is a self-taught artist whose afro-futurist art works explore organic landscapes and the wild life of the African continent alongside a timeless strand of artworks peopled by surrealist figures.
Azubuike’s work possesses a smooth tonality that creates its own unique dialogue exposing his inner consciousness to viewers. His work has been featured in exhibitions globally, including France, USA and Nigeria, and this Spring he holds his 1st London show ‘Our Sacred World’ at the Muswell Hill Art Gallery between May 12th-17th 2022.
“Creativity was all around us. We used to draw on the ground and we made tin cars from old cans of evaporated milk, which were bought over by the British. We made kites out of old newspapers and our natural creativity thrived”.
Born in 1974, Azubuike grew up in the Southern Delta state of Nigeria between the capital, Asaba, and the busy trading town of Onitsha. He enjoyed a care-free early childhood cared for by his grandmother, whilst his mother set up in London after his father’s tragic death in a car accident.
Arriving in Tottenham, London aged 10, life was a huge adjustment for Azubuike and one which threw up many challenges as he could neither read nor write. Art was the only thing he really enjoyed and where he could really communicate. In his own words it was his ‘therapy too as I could lose myself in it’. In his new environment, Azubuike started drawing super heroes such as Batman and Superman alongside the characters from the Marvel and DC comics. At school he was also exposed to working in gouache and watercolour, and aged 16 he attained a place to study a National Diploma in Fashion but with finances tight, he was unable to take it up.
Leaving school to start work aged 16, Azubuike also started gleaning tips from artists and trying new techniques out in his spare time. He went into care work in his early 20’s supporting teenagers with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour, using creative activities as therapy for many in his care.
His first art commission was from a lost Post Office lady owner whose dog he painted in gouache, and by the early 2000’s he was selling his artworks in Brixton Craft Market. One of his early key supporters is “Britain’s first black self-made woman millionaire”, Yvonne Thompson, CBE, FRSA, The British business leader, who was a founding member of radio station Choice FM; music editor of Root magazine; managing director of marketing and PR company ASAP Communications and president of the European Federation of Black Women Business Owners, commissioned him to paint one of his largest paintings – an elephant in the wild – and went on to amass a sizeable collection of his artworks.
Yvonne also connected him with TI1 London, a British business initiative, that introduced his work to galleries in France, where he went on to hold several exhibitions during a 2 year period.
Seeking to re connect with his Nigerian roots, Azubuike then went to Africa spending the next two years meeting new artists, and working with renewed energy inspired by the lush vegetation and energy of his ancestral & family base in Emugu. During his time here he fell in love and returned to the UK to marry in 2005.
Inspired by surrealist Salvador Dali as well as artists such as Lucien Freud and Antonio Gaudi, Azubuike is a firm believer that ‘art just flows between many different cultures’. Known for his wonderful paintings of African animals and people, Azubuike’s other side channels a more subconscious surreal vision of afro futurism.
“The mind can wander off into things and you can just get lost in your vision. There’s no rules and I just keep working until it evolves outwardly.”
As part of his artistic journey Azubuike is also working to raise awareness around saving Nigeria’s rain forest and its diverse endangered species. To these ends, he donates a percentage of his artworks sales to support WildAid and Arise News.