ABOUT SHIRI ACHU
Shiri Achu was born in Cameroon, West Africa. She and her family immigrated to London, where she lived for many years. Today, she has studios in Cameroon, the UK, and the USA.
After obtaining an A* & A at GCSE and A level Art, she went on to study Architecture at Cardiff University. However, since qualifying as an Architect, Shiri continued to long for her paint brush and now dares to follow and advance the passion she has pursued throughout her life; Painting.
She picked up her first paint brush at a tender age of 9, experimenting with several mediums including oils, acrylics, watercolour, mix media, etc. Today, her chosen preferred mediums are acrylics and oils. Shiri Achu’s art comes from everyday, unsurprising yet unexpectedly vivid moments, times, places and objects. She seeks to capture the spirit of her subjects and make them come alive through form, colour, texture and tone. She draws insight from her travels but in general, her inspiration is very broad; from natural moments captured in Africa to still objects, from the human form to the human in action; etc
The eternal optimist, Shiri sees beauty in almost anything and everything. She finds beauty where there is normalcy, and she sees colour through shades of grey. She therefore draws from this distinctively beautiful World of hers and aims to evoke an emotion which translates into images of delight or surprise, with the sole objective of capturing the soul of the subject. There is also a contrasting and contradictory side to Shiri’s ‘Beautiful’ World. Paintings of animal hearts have only led to her being called morbid, dark, and even confused?! And her love for painting raw meat and the naked human flesh is one to be interrogated.
Composition and subject matter are key in Shiri’s works. The concept for each piece is clear, and the focus gripping, and although the viewer will understand some of the pieces, some may not be understood and apprehended, because abstract/tashism is explored by Shiri in some of her pieces, to leave her viewers to come to their own conclusions. Shiri’s art is bold, dramatic and uncompromising. They aim to delight and leave the viewer moved as well as leave the viewer with thoughts of wonderment, at times of bewilderment; also to engage ones diagnostic imagination.
Ever increasingly so, one of the aims of Shiri Achu’s Art is to showcase the culture of Cameroon and other African countries worldwide. It’s also to bring back the fond memories to those in the diaspora.
She finds beauty in the woman carrying her child on her back and going her way, She finds beauty in the old lady who makes here ‘atchu’ in her dark outdoor kitchen for her grandchildren, She finds beauty in the African fabrics, she finds beauty, envy even, in the young girl climbing the tree!! So she paints these images. For her they are beautiful moments and for that moment, whilst she works on that piece she buries herself in the story and in the culture. There is a beautiful simplicity in the African culture she is trying to project into the western world. She paints them to educate people in the western world whilst trying to entice them to be inquisitive of the culture and to one day plan to visit and see for themselves.
Shiri makes some of her work into limited edition prints, so it’s relatively easy to transport her work around the world. Since her first solo exhibition in London 10 years ago, she has exhibited in Australia, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Washington DC and Las Vegas. Additionally, the Gift shop at The Smithsonian (National museum of African Art) orders and sells limited edition Shiri Achu Art prints.
Shiri Achu’s Art is gripping and engaging across the globe. From Australia to Texas, from Wales to Atlanta, from London to Singapore, from Cameroon to Berlin, from Kenya to Ghana. Her works (Originals and Signed Limited prints) have been and are continually sought after all over the world. Shiri has representatives in Cameroon, Prague, USA and in Australia. Shiri is extremely pleased and excited that she is achieving one of her goals of promoting the African Culture worldwide.