Currently, I am working on a new group of paintings called the African Connection Series. The grouping will consist of at least 14 paintings of varying sizes.
My inspiration for these works came about when I was talking with an African artist on Instagram. When he sent me some pictures of his recent works and a couple of selfies, I was drawn in and had a strong desire to paint his face as the skin tones with their bluish and purple hues intrigued me. His way of life was also interesting to me. I hadn’t traveled for 3 years because of CoVid and was thirsting for it. Through texts and video chats, I was treated to photographs and videos of life in Africa today. The idea for the project, telling stories of life in today’s Africa, developed over time and I went looking for more participants on Social Media sites. I have chosen six individuals and 2 charities from Nigeria, Uganda and Ghana. These beautiful people have become part of my daily life over the past 18 months, exposing me to a world of mystery and intrigue a continent away, sharing videos and stories, their frustrations, hopes and dreams. These paintings are their voice and they are happy to be heard.
The paintings will be accompanied by script and a video loop, telling their stories. The series will be ready for exhibition in the Fall of 2024.
JOHANNA WRAY was born in the Netherlands and moved with her family to Alberta, Canada at a young age. Her upbringing in a European household focused on the importance of art and music as part of daily life. She practiced piano diligently, but in her teenaged years started to focus on art, which came more naturally to her. She was recently named as one of the “Top 60 Masters of Contemporary Art” by Art Tour International Magazine, New York. Recent shows in New York and Paris have raised her profile to an international level. From 2018 she is represented by Monteoliveto Gallery in Paris and London and in the international art fairs in Luxembourg,Paris, Lausanne and Aix en Provence.