Bertha Onyekachi is a 26 years old graduate of Fine and Applied arts from the University of Benin, Edo state in 2015. She hails from Abia state. She is a lover of the arts as she’s multitalented in drawing and painting, singing and acting. She loves to cook too. She did her training under renowned master Ejoh Wallace which influenced her brush work approach to painting.
I started painting when I majored in the painting section of the university in 2014. I was greatly inspired by reply Okwoju ElDragg Leonard, a painter and lecturer in the University of Benin and Ejoh Wallace, a Pinter at the Universal Studios of Art.
Art for me is synonymous with dream chasing. The practice of painting over the years has been mostly dominated by men, since few women hardly practiced it for long. For me, being a painter is not just a hobby or a course of study, but a fulfillment of my dream. By threading a path seldom trod by women and aspiring to become one of the greats in history.
Painting therefore affords me a means to stand for something I am passionate about and stir up the minds of other women to chase their own dreams and live a purposeful life. To motivate them towards finding their inner strength and transform their reasoning towards building an ideal society. Taking advantage of their role as the key actors in the up bringing of children both at home and in school.
This is why most of my subject matter deals with the female figure; her smiles, her strength, her struggle, her pains, her ideas which the society hardly recognizes and takes for granted.
I am greatly inspired by the strength the female figure possesses; her physique, her beauty, alluring curves, her breast which at the same time symbolizes her kindness as well as her powerful life giving nature and her capacity to endure childbirth with such grace that is beyond human imagination.
I am still growing in the field of painting so am not about to Box myself up in any style as I want to enjoy myself by communicating through paint on canvas but Presently, I explore the chiaroscuro technique that refers to a strong self-conscious juxtaposition of light and shades which results in a stunning visual effect in a work of art and brush work approach. For me, the extreme light against the dark represents the glimpse of hope out of the darkness, sorrow, economic instability, violence, terrorism, kidnapping and many more societal issues we face everyday.
I hope through this technique the mind of my audience relaxes and thinks of a breakthrough which the sensation the strong light against the dark portrays. I might not have the power to create instant change in the society considering how much it needs to be salvaged, but I hope through painting i give my voice of the ideal.
Painting is therefore my voice, painting is my vote, painting is the mirror through which I communicate my strength as a woman to the world. I hope that with little or no words but through the expression of my passionate painting, I will stair the hearts of my audience towards understanding of the intricacies of womanhood.
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