Sit down with Sabina...
Sabina Silver is a contemporary conceptual artist based in London. Born and raised in Ghana, her African roots can be seen throughout her artwork as she pays homage to not just her Ghanaian history, but Black history as a whole. Her work celebrates blackness in all its many forms whilst exploring complex topics such as identity and lineage.
After deliberating over how we should approach the artist, we plucked up the courage and asked to interview Sabina, and to our pleasure, she kindly obliged.
Sabina explains " Representation is important. Growing up as a young black girl interested in the arts, I yearned to see someone who looked like me in galleries or the art textbooks in class but I never did. Now more than ever, I understand the importance of documenting and retelling my history. My art aims to do just that."
When did you first discover your artistic ability and it is something you always wanted to explore?
S: I have always been interested in art however, I began realising I may be talented in it around the age of 14 onwards. I remember choosing Art as one of my GCSE's and having an endless supply of art equipment to explore with. Those years gave me an insight into the art world. It was beautiful and I wanted to learn more.
Are there any artists you look up to for inspiration?
S: There are far too many to count. Some names that come to mind are Kehinde Wiley, Kwesi Botchway, Rewa, Nelson Makamo, and Sarah Owusu.
We noticed that there's a theme to your work which we absolutely love. Has your style changed over the years? If so, in what way(s)?
S: Most certainly, I have gone through quite a few stages in my work in terms of style. In the spirit of honestly, I must say I felt a lot of pressure to identify my style quite early on in my career, and to some extent there is still some pressure now. That pressure meant I often felt caged to a certain style of painting but in time I decided to give myself enough grace to grow and to not feel the need to explain my evolving art. Being at peace with my creative process helps me to learn what works for me and what doesn't. Though my style may be evolving, one thing that hasn't is the theme/ focal points in all my art pieces. It centers itself around blackness. It's such a beautiful and complex topic that I find myself unraveling new layers.
Is there anything you want people to take from the pieces that you create and if yes, what?
S: It's interesting, I don't think I want them to take anything away from it per say. If it speaks to you, great. If it doesn't, that's also okay too. I just want my art to just be. To exist. Perhaps in the future, this may change and I may require something of the viewer but for now. I create my art for myself.
Did your upbringing, culture, or background prompt a specific reference point within your work?
S: My background definitely shapes the direction of my art. As a Ghanaian in London, I have been blessed to meet so many amazing people within the diaspora. In meeting all these people, it's become clear to me how connected we all are and how easy it is to notice the differences rather than the similarities. My work focuses on the similarities, however, does that shy away from the differences.
Describe the way art makes you feel in three words:
S: Seen. Heard. Alive.
Getting to know Sabina and her art in a more intrinsic way was such an honour for us, especially as we're massive fans on her work. You can check her art out HERE.