Art as Medicine with Uchechukwu IbemereArt as Medicine with Uchechukwu Ibemere

Art as Medicine with Uchechukwu Ibemere

For Nigerian artist and photographer Uchechukwu Ibemere, his camera is his journal. A tool to process that results in his stark black and white portraits of mesmerising clarity. “Just like every poet owns a pen used in writing down their numerous poetry work, photography serves as my own little ink, creating a visual narrative one click at a time.”
“I’m more of a listener rather than a talker - an introvert. And with art, I barely ever need to speak verbally as my work creates an avenue for me to communicate my thoughts regarding various issues that concerns me and the world at large through my lens.”
“I am fairly certain that art, just like medicine, shares an affinity for healing”

Uchechukwu Ibemere

Growing up in an artistic family, Ibemere naturally turned to photography as an outlet, which would later help him to process a period of his life marked by grief. “As we speak I’m learning how to communicate and address this feeling visually,” he shares, citing “In Between Grief,” a work he says “came to life at a time where he almost drowned in depression that came with huge loss.”
In each series of photographs, he pursues new lessons. His current nude series is an observation of “how other individuals carry themselves so graciously and confidently,” something he admits is foreign to him, sharing on Instagram that he’s never felt able to go shirtless at the beach. For Ibemere, shooting nudes helps him reframe his relationship with himself and his body. “Hopefully sooner than later, I shall graciously move in this body of mine with ease just like my very beautiful subjects.”
“We see the world not as it is, but as we are.”

Uchechukwu Ibemere

“We live in a world with insufficient safe spaces for healing and growth, especially as black people. Even though this may be a causative factor to being ‘introverted’, seeing the world behind my camera lens and being able to tell the stories my mind’s eyes see serves a reminder that “we see the world not as it is, but as we are. This affords me the grace to learn, grow, and heal, and bestows on me the responsibility to offer the same chance to others who may not even know they are thirsty until water is offered. I aim to continue to utilise my work to shed light on various issues as long as I’m living and breathing in this lifetime.”
“I am fairly certain that art, just like medicine, shares an affinity for healing of self and others. That is what photography is for me - a visual journal and means to therapy.”
To view more of Uche’s work, you can head to his social channel here. You can discover more about art as a journey to self-discovery here or the intrinsic connection between art and the ocean here on Urth Magazine.