ARTIST / Bona Obiri-Yeboah
Meanjin. Brisbane, QLD
Observer, Poetic lens
I was born in Accra, Ghana.
My favourite time of the day is 6 pm (twilight time).
My favourite film is She’s Gotta Have it (1989) dir. Spike Lee.
I’m double jointed in my hands!
Drinking milk by itself isn’t enjoyable.
q & a
background / edu
I definitely draw a lot of inspiration from the lens I saw the world as a child, because it was an innocent and playful kaleidoscope of colour. I also lived rurally/regionally for the majority of my childhood, and this made me cherish the relationships I created with people, since there aren’t as many people in rural/regional areas as there are in the city, learning how to build and maintain connections in this way was pivotal in my development. Emigrating from Ghana in the mid 2000s equipped me with the ability to draw from my life there and also my life in Australia. This has meant I’ve been able to always compare and contrast life in Australia to life in Ghana, and draw on two separate spheres for creativity.
At the moment, I want my work to displace the persisting zeitgeist that we have to look to America or Europe for inspiration, and instead to lean into the diversity of people, places and lifeways that make Australia unique. In particular, making content whether musical or literary that draws on the environment around me, and to celebrate it!
I really like Ben Quilty’s work, simply because it’s very textural and honest. I also love Solange’s work, especially the cinematography in her music videos, because it’s very avant-garde and unique.
All the time! I don’t think I’d be where I am today if I wasn’t getting feedback and help from other people, otherwise my artistic practises would never develop.
Definitely keeping a close eye on Afrofuturism. Although it’s more of a cultural aesthetic than a trend, it’s cool to see how through this artistic movement, people are re-imagining different ways of being and thinking for people of the African diaspora.