Eolia Ahouansou: How Covid Led Me to Pursue Art

"Art is the ultimate form of freedom and expression," says conceptual artist Eolia Ahouansou, as she speaks with West African Careers.

EOLIA AHOUANSOU

 

Her work is dignified – it feels raw and real. A small glimpse of the woman she was during isolation – the place from which her creativity bloomed.

Ahouansou’s powerful portrait series tells a vivid and emotional story as it explores dreams, depth, and dimensions through unconventional means.

The coronavirus has brought with it a time of uncertainty and change. But it is often in times of crisis that we learn how resilient we are.

Eolia makes her entrance into the world of art with her debut, ‘The Women In the Mirror’ portrait series. The 27-year-old French-Benin newcomer, a graduate of literature and marketing, started her experimental exploration of art while in lockdown. Carrying her vulnerabilities and passion, she began to create non-stop.

She states: “Being on lockdown was an extremely challenging experience for me. I decided to put all those emotions into art and picked up a pencil for the first time in my life. It’s funny, at that very moment, I knew my life had just changed forever. Three months later, I presented my first portrait series entitled: The Woman in the Mirror.”

EOLIA AHOUANSOU

Ahouansou strives for realness rather than perfection. “Art is the ultimate form of freedom and expression”, she says. That freedom that was taken away during confinement due to COVID-19 was able to be expressed through her artwork.

She found creating her experimental pieces during the events of the pandemic therapeutic.
She found solace in being able to “release the pain and frustration”.

“The Woman in the Mirror is me”, Eolia declares, having always struggled to voice her feelings. However, since the release of her portrait series, she shares that, “for the first in my life I felt vulnerable and naked.”

“Besides its commercial success, my work has allowed me to connect with beautiful souls all around the world. I got to connect with so many people who relate to my message. That is truly my greatest pride and victory,”  she says.

As for what awaits in the future for Ahouansou, she says, “to answer your question simply, my hopes for the future is to keep doing what I do.”

The positive response from within the art community, professionals, curators, and gallerists who have taken an interest in her work inspire Ahouansou to continue producing more, as things continue to line up.

The budding artist left these words of encouragement for anyone else seeking to follow their passion during abnormal times:

“Fortune favours the bold.”


Follow Eolia Ahouansou on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Learn more about her work at eoliaart.com.

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