We are delighted to share with you all our next exhibition here at The Strand Gallery. We are bringing you a series of gorgeous African paintings by the wonderfully talented Shiri Achu in her London Exhibition ’35 in Prints’ at The Strand Gallery. Achu was born in Cameroon, West Africa until she and her family immigrated to London, where she has lived for many years. Today, she has studios in Cameroon, the UK and the US.
She picked up her first paint brush at a tender age of 9, experimenting with several mediums including oils, acrylics, water colour, mix media etc. Achu’s art comes from everyday, unsurprising yet unexpectedly vivid moments, times, places and objects. She seeks to capture the spirit of her subjects and make them come alive through form, colour, texture and tone. She draws insight from her travels but in general her inspiration is very broad; from natural moments captured in Africa to still objects, from the human form to the human in action.
The eternal optimist, Shiri sees beauty in almost anything and everything. She finds beauty where there is normalcy, and she sees colour through shades of grey. She therefore draws from this distinctively beautiful world of hers and aims to evoke an emotion, translating into images of delight or surprise, with the sole objective of capturing the soul of the subject.
Composition and subject matter are key in Shiri’s works. The concept for each piece is clear, and the focus gripping, and although the viewer will understand some of the pieces, some may not be understood and apprehended, because abstract/tashism is explored by Shiri in some of her pieces, to leave her viewers to come to their own conclusions. Shiri’s art is bold, dramatic and uncompromising. Her pieces aim to delight and leave the viewer moved as well as leave the viewer with thoughts of wonderment, at times of bewilderment; also to engage ones diagnostic imagination.
Ever increasingly so, one of the aims of Shiri Achu’s Art is to showcase the culture of Cameroon and other African countries worldwide. It’s also to bring back the fond memories to those in the diaspora. There is a beautiful simplicity in the African culture she is trying to project into the Western world. She paints them to educate people in the West whilst trying to entice them to be inquisitive of the culture and to one day plan to visit and see for themselves.
All images © Shiri Achu.
Achu’s works can be seen in the exhibition 35 in Print at The Strand Gallery from April 19th to April 25th.