Gold Akanbi

Gold Akanbi stands with her arms folded across her shoulders, not smiling, looking into the camera

My name is Gold Maria Akanbi and I am a neurodiverse British-Nigerian multidisciplinary artist.

Coming from a place of intersectionality, it can often be very difficult to find representation and comfort in mainstream culture and so often I feel I have to draw on many parts of my identity, dissect them and then focus intently on these aspects of my identity. This is why my work mainly focuses on Afro-futurism, Traditional African spirituality, The Black Body and the physical land it is indigenous to and inhabits, sensory-stimulation and sensory overload and neurodiversity and neurological perception of reality.

I want to say I know the exact direction of my artistic practice but the truth is, I do not.

Art has kept me alive in the sense that it has enabled me to focus on the many intersections of my life, many which have been used against me, art has essentially allowed me to guide myself out of trauma and to navigate my mind towards a healthier landscape.

A current recurring theme is the idea of being on a journey and navigating myself through past trauma, the current dissolution going on within the world, the failing structures I have been taught to rely on and finding solace in aspects of myself that the world oppresses and rejects. There has been a slight shift in my work in that I abandoned more sterile colours and introduced the colour pink and some pastel colours, which symbolises the freedom of youth and innocence for me, including naivete which is a painful component for women with ASD.

I want to say I feel hopeful about the future but I honestly feel more hopeful about the strength art has allowed me to gather within myself.

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