By: Gloriana O. ( @glo.reign_)
The Nigerian British photographer and visual artist collated an archive of new and old pieces
together in their most recent exhibition at Protein Studios.
Recognisable by her fantasy world and reminiscent luminescence, Nwaka Okparaeke work transcends photography and the meaning of visual arts.
“Many would describe me as self assured and strong minded, I feel the same but lately I'm on a
journey of truly seeing myself to the core. Uncovering bit by bit how much I subconsciously fight
against my own peace and freedom without realising it. My natural human desire to submit to
society's pressures for the sake”
I'm so grateful for this journey.
As her pieces are often shot with a commonplace theme, Nwaka perfectly extracts the surreal and the sublime from an ordinary camera lens. With a refreshing eye she blends a palette of highlights, ultraviolets and glitter perfectly reframing familiar views with a breathtaking filter of otherworldly presence.
Nwaka is clearly unfamiliar with the mundane and presents this through her image placement.
Often manipulating the attentions of her audience, she playfully accentuates the scales of her subject placing the audience in a wonderland of perspective. Toying with scale and light saturation Nwaka’s art subjects are surreally superior to our norm, however contrasting with the familiar themes and backgrounds they are set in.
Further narrating the euphoric air of Nwakas creativity, her written and spoken poetry perfectly compliments her artistic nature. Nwaka not only pours artistic sentiment into her visual work but also crafts this into a poetic prose. Contrasted against bare white walls in bold font were entire poems, equally bold in their right to delve into the existentiality of human nature and creativity.
As a photographer Nwaka has famously created images for several magazines such as gal-
shooting for GUAP magazine winning the GUAP Gala 2022 Photographer of the Year Award.
Okparaeke has also collaborated with brands such as Mercedes Benz, Nike, and Estée Lauder
Furthermore transitioning to videography with her own short film ‘Lean Back’ also stylised by
her chromatically saturated editing style, righteously triumphing the beauty of black hair.
She also has campaigns for brands including Nike and Mercedes-Benz, and album artwork for
Grammy Award-winning rapper, Scribz Riley. Her transition to filmmaking, has also seen
Okparaeke creating music video concepts for artists such as Olivia Dean with what Okparaeke
self describes as an expression of “peace, serenity, love and freedom”.
However as an overall artist Nwaka hasn't just set a new standard but literally uncovers a new
world of artistry for photography and visual arts.