Flight of The Butterfly
Interview by Dr Marina Nani
Who is Dr. Vivian Timothy?
Self taught Nigerian, Germany based, Visual Artist, my paintings carry a very heavy African accent and tell my metaphorical stories, a life in Africa and my flight in Europe as depicted in my paintings below (Flight Of The Butterfly I.II. III.) My Paintings also center on the beauty, riches and social anomalies of Africa. A Continent that is so rich and yet so poor, a story of broken innocent girls and my love for Africa.
You are an accomplished Artist, Peace advocate, a visionary, a Philanthropist. What brought you where you are?
I am a nature’s light that took almost 4 decades to shine. A hopeless stammerer that became aware of her uniqueness early in life. As a young girl, I had always had flair for Art of every kind. Throughout my years of searching for my identity, I never lost focus of my dream because I had always believed that my success lay in that unique gift that the universe gave me at the time of my incarnation because in it reposed my power to create and control my future.
What are the challenges you had to overcome to become successful?
Coming from a family with a strong Academic background, I was not allowed to follow my inclination towards creative Art. Finding myself outside the shores of my country offered me the opportunity to express my creative ability. I rediscovered my passion for painting a few years ago though. But in the beginning, it was for my own fun. I never imagined that the Piece I created would ever be accepted outside the confines of my home. Only after a friend convinced me to showcase my work did I find the courage to share my Artworks with the World.
Yet, I was still very much afraid of not being able to measure up to all the great artist out there I had always admired. Of course, my age, environment and the society had always made me believe that it is over with me; that it is too late to start a career as an artist, but vehemently I refused to give in to their discouragement. I did not allow that voice, that fear to control me , rather I took control and made that voice say, YES YOU CAN!
What are the most rewarding steps you took along the way?
To learn and to excel I wanted to go to an Art School. But first I started researching and reading the biographies of all those great Artists that I so much admire. To my enormous surprise, I found out that so many of these great Artist had never even visited an Art school. Knowing this, made me realize that true Art comes from within. It is that painting or that creation that makes you happy, that which swirl your heart. Having realized that, opened me to new ways of expressing my feelings and thoughts and helped me find my true identity.
What inspires you?
Visual Art gave me not just a metaphoric voice but made my voice clearer and stronger. I draw my inspiration from nature. Nature plays Beautiful Melodies/music for those whose hearts are beautiful and quiet enough to hear. The love for my creator and my Cultural heritage are also a great source of my inspiration.
Imagine you have a magic wand. What would you change?
What disturbs me is the disunity among women. It has always been in the Woman’s nature to be her sister’s keeper. For example, in the African socio-cultural setting there has always existed a social cooperation among rural women. For instance, during the farming season, Women would form themselves into an aid group. In this, they would collectively assist each person in clearing, tilling and cultivating one another’s large farm. An exercise they would continue to rotate until every woman’s large farmland is fully cultivated. A cooperative help that ensures an optimum harvest for all participants. These are the values that have always formed and forged the bond of strength and unity among women. So let us use those hands that are used in pulling each other down, to build each other up.
I believe that when women with different lifestyles, mindsets, language, beliefs, ideology, and color come together, incredible things happen because our strength lies in our diversity.
What is your wildest dream?
It has been an incredible personal journey of learning and growth which has compelled me to artistically and otherwise connect to the dynamics of the society in order to create more, contribute, support and serve the community I find myself in.
I want my work to inspire people, especially women to figure out, embrace and liberate their unique gifts thereby finding their true purpose and identity. We all get scared doing something for the first time but when we are able to break the fears that limit us from trying, the sky becomes our limit. Everyone of us has something the world desperately needs. And It is never too early and it is never too late to start. So, start where you are, use what you have, do what you can and the universe will embrace you.
I have my roots in Africa but Europe has given me the freedom and opportunity to realize my dream. My plan for 2018 is also to use art which is a universal language to create a mutual cultural relationship and bridge the gap between my home country Nigeria albeit Africa and my new home, Germany, and Europe at large.
I show the beauty of Africa as i see it with the eyes of one of her children. I also consider it my duty as an artist to open the hearts of people in the Western world to the problems that plague my beautiful continent Africa in the hope to start a dialogue with people and hopefully show them that my home continent is very much worth not just preserving but also supporting and developing. I think, this is time for Reconciliation and Restitution for Africa by a global community that gained so much from her dismemberment in the 18th century by the Europeans.
In summary, I am letting my brush and my color speak peace, unity and love that is lacking in the world of Today.