Femi Creatives offers unique African art prints and homewares

UK-born Nigerian artist Femi Ajayi is developing an impressive following for his creations.

Thursday, 15th April 2021, 9:05 am
Femi
Femi

Femi, who lives at Goodwood, was chosen to showcase his inspiring collections at House of Fraser for their 2019 Afrocentric event in Oxford Street.

His followers have been growing ever since.

His Femi Creatives is a design studio offering unique African art prints and homewares inspired by the Nigerian Yoruba mythology – a core part of Femi’s heritage and ancestry. His collections represent his journey of reconnection with the Yoruban Gods, celebrating African pride and history through spirituality and culture. You can find his work at https://femicreatives.com/ and at https://www.etsy.com/shop/femicreatives.

“I have been blessed highly with art and culture and craft, but it all came really together basically when I was about to leave Nigeria, not knowing what was going to be ahead. I had been introduced to such a beautiful culture in Nigeria, but not just the culture. It just all moulded me into an individual that would definitely be ready for whatever life throws at him. That was all I needed for where I am now.

“We came to Chichester about six or seven years ago. We decided to have a break from London, and we decided to come down in short bursts to Chichester where my wife grew up. We really enjoyed it, and we thought ‘What about staying here full time?’ and we did. It is an amazing place. It is countryside that I can really relate to, being so green. I grew up in Nigeria, and it is very similar. I left Nigeria a long time ago in 1996. My dad died, and we were trying to get by, but things were not as easy as they used to be, and my mum just said ‘Listen son, it is about time you made your way back to where you came from.’ I was born in the UK and I spent my first six years in Islington. I went to Nigeria when I was six. My mum and dad had a very, very workable relationship. They both studied in the UK, but my dad went back earlier than my mum did. He went back to get a place for us to stay and to get it prepared for when we got there.”

But as Femi says, he didn’t realise how important that Nigeria culture was until he left it in 1996: “It’s not until you go somewhere else and come back or have a taste of another world that you get to realise it. You have to get away from your comfort zone to realise what you have.”

Femi describes his work as a journey: “It is about the Yoruba culture which is where I am from. The Yoruba culture is a very spiritual, very powerful background of people that I have grown up with, a strong mythology which is literally celebrated every now and again at different times of the year.

“I have a strong focus now on a new theme which is What Happens When The Lights Go Out. That is a focus on raw material and colour and paper and everything that works and things that are friendly to the environment. Before that, I was working with the normal plug-ins, Photoshop and pencil to paper. I would not say I am a painter. I am strictly an artist. I can go to sleep and wake up the next morning with a concept that I am so eager to work on. You think what you want to think and you go with the idea. And I try to make something that is acceptable to everyone,wherever you come from. I don’t strictly make African art. I don’t believe in just making African art. I make world art that is acceptable to everyone.”