ABOUT THE ARTIST
The art of O'nali Promise has gone through various stages of incubation; these periods of his creative synthesis have been necessary catalysts for the wide audience and acceptance his works have came to receive.
Born and raise in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, during the formative years of his life, Promise was always driven by the brutal force of visual reality and communication. This set him apart from all the other students in primary and secondary school. For him, visual interpretation had no specific time, place, media/materials and support. As such, he made art everywhere and with anything.
During these years, his most handy art materials included eba, candle wax, boiled yam, leaves, walls, charcoals, broom sticks, sand, clay, cartons, discarded tins, old news papers, and any material he could squeeze out colour from. Due to the fact that nobody could/wanted to buy him a separate book for his personal drawing practice, Promise made use of the loose sheets of paper which always littered the school classrooms after classes. These he would sew together with needle and thread and then, Voila! A drawing book emerges. He drew every time and everywhere and was often scolded for over indulging in his artistic cravings. Human forms, heads, faces, landscapes, cars, scribbles, doodles, lines and everything he could think of often appeared on household furniture. He once covered an entire wooden chair with pen drawings and lines, after most of them faded, due to constant use; he covered them all over again. Although he didn't have an art teacher during his secondary school days, it didn't stop him from exercising his artistic franchise which he further carried out on the school furniture and walls whenever he had the opportunity. This forced him to develop a liking for Biology due to the number of drawings and illustrious he had to make in the subject.
He had no respect for any ground that fascinated him, he drew on the couch, the sitting room furniture and walls, the carpets, his schoolbags, note books, text books, etc even his Christmas clothing were not spared. His artistic cravings made him so popular and sought after in secondary school that he built a clique of artistic individuals whose main aim was to visually turn their dreams into graphic reality. This was when he learned that one could really do whatever he or she wanted as long as he/she puts his/her mind to it. During these years, Promise wasn't sure of what he wanted to study in the University. As much as he loved drawing, carving, kneading and squeezing malleable materials, he did not want to be a road
side artist. However, his dreams took a whole new turn when he learned that he could do so much with his art.
He later got an admission to study art at the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsukka. It was at the department of Fine and Applied Arts, while studying painting, he came to learn new trends and techniques in art under the tutelage of C. Krydz Ikwuemesi, Dr. Ozioma Onuzulike, Prof. El Anatsui, Chijioke Onuorah and a host of other renowned artists/lecturers who helped sharpen
and steer his art towards the right direction. In ernest gratitude to the contribution of all who have been instrumental to the success of his art, Promise decided to do great things and touch as many lives as possible with his art. He had his first solo exhibition in 2010 (City of Refuge, CEW Gardens, Rumuomasi, Port Harcourt).
However, he has taken part in a number of group exhibitions, some of them include:
“Exposition” (Enugu, 2003), “Salt of the Earth” (Enugu, 2004), “Parenting and Child Care” (Enugu, 2004), “Images of Africa” (Enugu, 2004), “Dance of the Lyrical Lines II (Enugu, 2005).
He is inspired by beauty and hard work which he seeks to bring to the fore through his works.