Elena Njoabuzia Onwochei-Garcia’s installations of painted walls of paper explore how the dynamics between people are shaped by what appears to be real and the possibilities of fiction. This disjunction is inspired by the practice of researching history: understanding how subjectivity creates contradictions in the narration of events. She draws on psychological, literary and historical analysis of fiction to construct and play out refuted experiences. The compositions, collages and entanglements of historical and popular images and narratives, focus on the elements affecting the character’s behaviours. The layers of paint and narratives intertwine fables and falsehoods so that allegories emerge and retreat.Elena Njoabuzia Onwochei-Garcia (Spanish-British), figurative painter and installation artist, recently completed her MFA at the Glasgow School of Art. Onwochei-Garcia was selected as a Bloomberg New Contemporary (2023) and was awarded the RSA John Kinross Scholarship and the Leverhulme Master of Fine Art Bursary. Her recent exhibitions include Short Lapses (Saltspace, 2023), Royal British Society of Artists Rising Stars of 2022 (ROSL, 2022), Painting our Past: The African Diaspora in England (Corbridge Museum and The Africa Centre in London, 2021).
The immersive triptychs implicate the viewers and their bodies into the setting in order to emphasise and discomfort the connection between the spectator, painting, and subject. Once situated within the walls of washi paper the spectator is caught within a network of relations which are defined by histories that interfere with and charge their interactions. The arrangement of her works simulates the psychological landscape of the painting’s narrative and Onwochei-Garcia’s distortion of the visual field makes the viewer’s relationship to the painting perceptible as their observation becomes based on movement.