Lateefat Idris_African Artist

Lateefat Idris, b. 1997 (Nigeria)

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Lateefat‘s Biography

Lateefat is a young emerging artist from Nigeria with a budding career in the art industry.

Artist Statement:

2021 was the beginning of the worst period of my life that only ended in November 2022.

I didn’t see the struggles I experienced coming and I can only pray that it will remain the worst I’ll ever have to experience.

In the years before, I had battled with many depressive episodes to the point of contemplating ending my life but even then, I had the strength to get up and be outside. I was able to do more than wallowing.

This time, however, I couldn’t get up. I was brought down to the barest I had ever been and once I made it past denial, I became a devastated shadow of myself. I saw no purpose in existing therefore I had no reason to be awake. I had no motivation. I stopped my business because interacting with people who lived seemingly productive lives made me hate my situation more.

Soon I started to fantasise about having a heavenly being speak to me clearly. To be shown what was happening behind the scenes and what was being designed for me. I know that we don’t typically have access to revelations but I desired that desperately. I couldn’t muster affirmations for myself and I couldn’t draw anything positive from the encouragement of those around me. I wanted revelation.

Out of wishing for revelation, I imagined myself as the subject of the piece “INSIGHT”. 

I imagined that I would be held tightly and taken into a trance where everything about my life would be revealed. What was, what is and what is to come. 

That I might find peace in knowing.

So I started “INSIGHT”

Before I could finish, I imagined a being that I could see and I could speak with to ask what was to come. In my Religion, we are not allowed to seek out such answers. Not from people and not from spirits but at that point in my life, answers were all I wanted. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So I knew the best I could do was to imagine one. 

I imagined what it would look like. A being that could bring you the peace of having foresight. Allowing you to know that your efforts will not be futile. That striving will not be fruitless. 

I thought it would be a fun pun to give it FOUR eyes and the name is “FOURSIGHT”

That was how these two pieces were born. 

I struggled with committing myself to them because I didn’t have much of anything left in me. However, every day I got up and went to sit with my pieces and I could see progress. When I was with them I was moving forward and getting better. I wasn’t stuck or stagnant.

When I thought about giving up, I would push myself because even though I didn’t feel complete, I wanted them to be.

It was difficult to decide that I was ready to put down the pencil and label them finished. Because I still didn’t feel whole within myself. In fact, around the time they were supposed to be finished, my situation had gotten worse.  

I would bring them out and add touches every few days. 

As soon as I had something in me, I would pull them out and pour it all into them. 

These pieces have everything I had to give when I had nearly nothing.

Today they are my reminder that even when I think I am nothing, I can create something beautiful. I know I am never truly empty. 

I am deeply attached to both pieces and left to me, I would never part with them.

But I know that they deserve to be shared. They deserve to make connections with other people and give out everything positive they have.

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