ChinweGallery.com

Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy creates a lasting impression on canvas as well as on those who meet her. For the fortunate ones who sit for her, her charm pervades and the intensity of her application when painting leaves a memorable effect.

Born in Eastern Nigeria Chinwe had always wanted to be an artist and took every opportunity to draw - even when this got her into trouble at school. She was greatly affected by the Biafran war both emotionally and through the lack of opportunities for study at that period in Nigeria. She travelled to Britain in 1975 and obtained a B.A. Hons. Degree in Graphic Design at Middlesex Polytechnic formerly Hornsey College of Art.

She took up full time painting in 1988 and her work covers a wide area. As well as portraits in oils and pastels, her paintings depicting the history of the African continent have attracted wide acclaim. Chinwe also sculpts in clay. Her portrait commissions are extensive and the major commissions are listed on the exhibitions page. Her current major commission is to paint Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. She is the first black artist to do so. The commission, when completed, will hang in Marlborough House alongside that of her work of Chief Emeka Anyaoku the Secretary General of the Commonwealth whose portrait was unveiled by Her Majesty in March 2000.

Chinwe has a profound knowledge of Africa and its history which emerges in any question and answer session on her work.

Chinwe is currently expanding her portrait commissions and continues her paintings depicting African Culture in it's entirety.

Personal Statement

I am greatly inspired by people; but especially by the survival spirit and tenacity of the people of Africa. It is not surprising therefore that my portraiture has developed in the area of figurative historical paintings.

The decision to concentrate on portrait painting initially came with the realisation that I was more interested in people than other subjects. It is a consuming challenge to capture people's characters, their outlook, the effect the world has on them and their response to it.

This has gradually built up to involve me in the wider issues of cultures, countries and civilisations in Africa, through the ancient empires, slavery, colonisation, exploitation and their effects throughout the world.

I try to portray the heat and the brightness of Africa and to create the mood that will convey the anguish and ecstasy through historical paintings such as 'The African Slave Trade' series, 'Ndu Ozo' and the 'Africa - Past, Present and Future' series.