Art Meets Food in Paula’s Murals
Many agree that cooking is an art form and excellent food making requires paying attention to some of the most delicate details in culinary art in just about the same way that artists pay attention to lines, colors, and shapes. One Nigerian artist is painting the inseparable connection between art and food and is now at the forefront of blending art with food so that one stares up at mural paintings on restaurant walls while biting on some of the most enjoyable delights from the kitchen.
“I came into art through animation,” Paula tells The Daily Scrum. “Before then, I wasn’t conscious of my interest in art and didn’t think much of it until I came across a particular Japanese animated feature film. At that moment, I decided I wanted to be an artist.” She says: “The first mentor whose work I followed ardently happened to be Hayao Miyazaki, a renowned animator, and illustrator. Over the years, I discovered more successful artists from whom I learned certain skill sets and techniques and took cues. One of which is the Nigerian-based graffiti artist Osa Seven.”
Paula Ukwenya hasn’t settled in on a particular signature style and leaves her imagination open to influences, preferring not to paint abstract patterns that obfuscate her intentions. “My art style keeps evolving; however, I’m always keen on expressing recognizable details, so I’m more in tune with realistic forms of expression. I want my audience to always get a clear visual of the intentions behind my work.”
Paula has her hands on many projects but has animated the art and food scene for some time now. She says: “The most prominent project would be creating a fusion of art and food in restaurants across the country; it’s a project that’s been ongoing for a while now.”
But it is important to note that the artist is keen on initiating cultural and social change through her skills. “Since art was pivotal in shaping a very important and definitive moment in my life, I decided that I’d work in the direction of using art to influence positive behavior in others. As visually and aesthetically pleasing as art for art’s sake is, I’m more interested in the positive impact my work could have on someone’s life.”
On her ongoing projects, Paula reveals, “I have several projects I’m embarking on right now, both on the digital and live spectrums of art. When I’m not painting, I’m most likely reading comics/mangas/manhwas to unwind and relax.”