Chim'Di is a Nigerian artist currently based in Sheffield. She drew and wrote short stories and poetry before studying film in Blackpool. Painting offers Chim'Di much-needed freedom. She describes her paintings as abstract Afro-centric and Afro-futuristic. Her newest exhibition FAMILY PORTRAIT is currently on display at DINA.
Below is an edited version of my conversation with Chim'Di. We discussed the importance of authenticity, family and community in her journey. We also covered hopes for the future and an invitation for readers who connect with her art.
Whenever I write, I’m always in my head. Always making sure that I’m saying the right thing, that I’m articulate and present myself well. But my visual artwork can be weird. I don’t have to overthink. I can’t be mad at yellow for being there because there was no intention. I love to stay in control. With painting, I don’t have that control anymore. I let loose and create a world, an instance, a scenario. Painting allows me to express words and feelings whilst still being polite. ‘Cause you can’t be mad at an artwork, can you?
I started using colour by drawing with pens and pencils, but it wasn’t fast enough. Painting is very vibrant. There are no mistakes. With pencils, you can erase and perfect it, but with paint, once it goes out of line, it’s a new artwork. I leave it like that – to flow and shape itself. There are no lines, only suggestion. It’s spontaneous and casual. I let my brain rest and the body does its thing. My subconscious mind takes over.