Inspired by the quote “sometimes the biggest battles you need to fight are against yourself.” “Battle Within” portrays the mind of someone in a fight against himself, challenging his weaknesses and facing his fears. This fight is often necessary for rebirth, growth and for discovering new places and boundaries in the journey of self.
"My work is born out of the desire to represent the quiet interaction between our conscious and subconscious state of mind in relation to our environment. I believe that everything in our lives dances to the vibrations of the subconscious. A major feature of this pencil and charcoal series is the ‘Black Figure’, which is usually clad with symbols and motifs. These figures are inspired by the idea of scars and tribal marks which represent our subconscious state. I use primarily West African iconography, mainly Adinkra, Uli, & Nsibidi symobls, as well as the lines and patterns found in Adire fabric, to create forms and figures which I draw alongside realistic subjects and serene settings, creating a surreal landscape. I create allegorical scenes which touch on mental health and social values, telling stories borne out of true experiences. The paintings I create explore scenes from my imagination, which I do my best to paint as vividly as I saw them." - Kelechi Nwaneri, 2019.