ruby onyinyechi amanze’s drawings are fragments of line and shape, dynamic elements that disperse until they finally converge at a resting point of geometric composition.
amanze is a visual artist using the medium of drawing as a mode of inquiry – lines cutting through space and creating a world inhabited by aliens, hybrids, or ghosts, influenced by her experiences of navigating life as well as her passion for running, cooking, dance, and architecture. “I think of my art and life as very intertwined with little separation,” says amanze.
Born in Nigeria, amanze had lived on three continents by the age of thirteen, which contributed to her acute awareness of place and placeness. “I think immigrants have a unique relationship with space. It’s in constant flux,” amanze explains. “So my world and self view were formed through the lens of migration, time travel, flying, packing an identity into a suitcase, and sampling ‘being’ from different places.”
Although figurative subjects – in the form of extraterrestrials, spirits, and animal-human hybrids – play a large role in her work, amanze has taken a slightly different approach for the fourth iteration of ART X Lagos in 2019. She has removed the figure and instead produced small-scale drawings that further her inquiry into space through images of swimming pools, okadas, plants, birds, and the sky. “I call them ‘mash-up’s and I enjoy the playfulness of taking these recurring elements in the work and rearranging them in different ways,” she says.
Her drawings are fluid with a minimal palette, grounded by a spirit of experimentation.
amanze has an incredible talent for negotiating complexity with the utmost sense of clarity. Her drawings are fluid with a minimal palette, grounded by a spirit of experimentation. She engages complex questions of placing and displacing, belonging and longing, through descriptive and implied lines on a flat plane. In the process she invites us to play with memory, perception, and time.
An article by Nkgopoleng Moloi
Featured image : ruby onyinyechi amanze, “Two pools and a window in the sky”, 2019. Inkjet print, ink. Courtesy the Artist.
This article was written for The Art Momentum | ART X Lagos 2019 Artpaper. [French version inside]
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