Inemesit Graham

North Slave
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Artist Story

I like to explore comparisons in my paintings. It isn’t our differences that I find interesting, but how we are the same. I was born in Nigeria and raised in England. After university, I moved to Yellowknife with my husband. Having lived in three very different cultures that are worlds apart, humanity is still the same. I find I am able to educate myself about places and culture through my art.

I think it is important for artists to learn from each other; to sit and watch how someone works is really inspiring. I think my style is different from a lot of work you see here and it gives a different perspective. I like to paint northern scenes and northern animals like ravens and bison, but I also like to paint portraits of people.

I didn’t go to art is school, but I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. When I have an idea for a painting I always sketch it out before starting on a canvas. 

Artist Bio: 

Inemesit Essien Graham Artist Biography Inemesit was born in Nigeria, the second of four girls, but moved to England with her family as a young child. Throughout her childhood she enjoyed and excelled at art and decided to study it as part of her high school and post secondary diplomas. Inemesit first travelled to Yellowknife in the summer 2004 when she was 18 and has been here for every summer since, returning to England in the winter to complete her bachelor’s degree in Politics and International Relations. In 2007 she graduated from university, married her long time beau, a YK resident, and moved to the city. Through her visits to Yellowknife Inemesit has acquired an interest in the culture, landscape and animals of the North and has used this as a focus for her artwork. She enjoys working with different mediums but the bold use of colour and focus on shadow and light run central in all her work. Inemesit means “happiness” in her native Nigerian tongue of Ibibio and of her work she says, “I want it to make people smile. I like my work to be personal, not something you see everywhere. I want it to mean something. I have a series of paintings of inukshuit because I liked that they are something that is distinct to Northern Canada. But I also like what they symbolise; guidance, unity and remembrance”.

Last Updated: May 25, 2023

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