Interview Fatima Duke-Pratt
Fatima is a multidisciplinary artist born and based in London who is currently focusing on figurative oil painting and printmaking. Her art/life work cultivates personal integrity because it comes from her pain and her observations of the world unravelling.
She believes that as an artist, it is a small part of her responsibility to confront and comment on societal issues, with the intention of making people feel something, whatever the emotion may be. However, she does also feel that her purpose changes depending on the situation, where it is located, who is there, and how she is feeling. Fatima's main intention is to create art which contributes towards the healing aspects of life, particularly for people of colour to heal.
How do you define your art?
My art is defined by so many components nowadays. I'm currently enjoying the way my works from life are beginning to move towards abstraction. Working from photographs is more complex for me and takes more of a design stance to construct a composition.
What are the main themes or ideas you explore through your work?
The main theme of my work depends on what medium I'm working with and how I'm working. So if I'm working from life, I would construct a setup and interpret what I can see in a painterly way rather than literally copying everything. After I create the work from life I then reflect on how it could relate to what is happening in the world, or to me. Working conceptually in print making and painting is what works for me the best because I love telling stories. I explore themes regarding identity, anatomy and history.
Reading your biography I could see you are passionate about social issues. How do you think your artwork can contribute to the current social discussion?
I am very passionate about social issues regarding race. Specifically about the injustices that black people have always faced and continued to. I think my art can contribute to the social discussion by taking a healing stance as I love to create bright colored imagery even though the topic can be dark and depressing. I want my prints in particular to show the beauty that I see and love in black people.
How has your work evolved over time?
My work has evolved from sometimes drawing from pictures to becoming a huge advocate for working from life. I see working from life as the foundation of having good drawing skills to be able to execute conceptual ideas in any medium I see fitted. I can apply all the skills I have learnt from observational works I have done into printmaking, which has added a mix of flatness and 3D element into my prints. I love seeing my work evolve into the post modern graphic, painterly thing it is.
Could you tell us a few of your favourite artists?
A few of my favourite artists are:
Kudzanai Violet- Hwami
Lynette Yiadom- Boakye
What are you currently working on?
I'm currently working on a series of paintings, based on an Island along the Sierra Leone River called Bunce Island.