Conversations with Nola Ayoola || A Story Weaver

Conversations with Nola Ayoola || A Story Weaver

By Aga Team

Conversations with Nola Ayoola || A Story Weaver

 In a conversation with storyweaver and visual artist, Nola where she shared the inspiration behind her works and how her craft tells the African story from an historical point of view, while contextualizing it in today's modern world.


 Give a brief introduction about yourself as an artist?

 Hi! I'm Nola - A multidisciplinary artist. My art is essentially a visual diary. Through portraiture, woven and cut out abstract compositions, I explore heritage and its profound impact on identity. I mix a multiple array of mediums to best express myself and to highlight multiple elements and intersections.


You see yourself as a storyteller, what kinds of stories do you tell in your work?

My work encapsulates the philosophy that ‘You cannot understand what you cannot pull apart’, I've always been someone that dissects. Its how ive been able to learn, to gain understanding and to even explain. This has informed the very basis of my practice which is heavily about process. I believe that everything is made up of many different components and moving parts. I've often described my work as reticulations and myself as a storyweaver because my work is about deconstructing and constructing. It's about taking pieces and reassembling in a method that makes sense to me. Telling traditional African narratives that have historically existed, telling narratives of our world today and imagining future stories. I take from these and interlink them to one another, making hybrids that explore the concepts and impact of time and identity.




What inspires your type of art? And how do you want people who see your art to feel?

My Identity, thoughts and surroundings inspire my art. The understanding of how and If environments impact us, how we perceive ourselves and the level at which we foster individuality or see ourselves as part of a wider entity are the different toggles in which I play around with in my explorations. I want people to see my art and feel. I want them to connect to it however they naturally connect to it. I want it to evoke, whether it be questions, emotions, memories.


How do you see your art contribute to the promotion of African culture?

I’ve always believed in art as a form of documentation and provenance of time, emotions and place. In this regard, I see my art as stories being told from the lens of a Black African woman in the 21st century. My perspectives, my influences, my personal experiences, my tradition and how it has played a big role in my identity. These intersections, allow me to define culture - I am weaving and talking about it in my work.  




What do you want your art to be remembered for?

My art is an extension of me, as I mentioned earlier - it's a visual diary. So to answer, I always want to be remembered for how I make people feel.


What do you do aside from visual arts? Do you have other talents?

 Talent is definitely subjective. I enjoy travelling, preferably alone, exploring new and familiar places. I'm intrigued by cultures, environments and impacts.


When last did you feel free as a creative

I feel free every time I create, every opportunity I'm able to talk about my practice, every time I am able to discover and learn in most capacities.




What has been your biggest failure and what has it taught you?

I genuinely don't really believe in failure and applying it to myself. I believe in the ability to leave lots of room to constantly learn and evolve.


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