Nana Osei-Bonsu

The Pellucid Being

Jackson's Painting Prize 2022
Acrylic, Oil
45.7 x 61.0 cm

“When painting this I thought to myself; who am I? How do I as a black adolescent in this society perceive myself. And ironically I thought of transparent – the synonyms for that being pellucid. Something with multiple meanings : translucent, comprehensible. clear. That was my theme. I procrastinated and pondered how can I portray that perception on only liquid and canvas? How can I engulf that emotion and what inspires that emotion to be. I adore James Jean’s process ; I hoped to congeal his genius to mine.

Oils have always been somewhat scary to me so I started by laying the base with acrylic. It dries annoyingly quickly so I inevitably proceeded to oils and oh how I fell in love. I loved how I could achieve a translucent affect by decisively laying down the colours to invoke a sort of deception. I wanted to instigate the thought of, where has this hand come from? Or – What is she doing perhaps, is she undoing a braid? I wanted to illustrate the feeling of unravelling, to the point at which you are physically and metaphorically pellucid.”