Ngadi Smart is a Sierra Leonean visual artist based between London, UK and Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. She specializes in illustration and photography. Her illustrative work centers around depicting strong women, androgynous characters, and also deals with feminism and gender roles themes. She likes to challenge mainstream society's preconceived views of what the definitions of “normal" and “beautiful” are. In her photography her focus is on documenting cultures, subcultures and intimacy. Her photographic work has long been focused on how people self-identify and choose to present themselves in front of the lens. As of late, her interest has been documenting black sensuality through an African lens and point of view. She aims to show as many representations of African people, and the complexities of what it means to be African, as she can.
In what ways does nature inspire or inform your work?
Nature is a big component of my work, and plays a huge part in illustrating the environment I reside in, and the background of the story I wish to communicate. I use nature in contrast with human bodies in my work to speak of themes of sexuality, and identity.
What does it mean to you to be part of a thriving ecosystem?
Being part of a thriving ecosystem to me means living in an environment where nature is not threatened. Unfortunately this is becoming less and less of a reality.