Interview with artist Nakate Kakembo

Nakate Kakembo is an artist from Melbourne, Australia. At twenty one years of age, she's just graduated from The University of Melbourne with a degree in Urban Planning and Design however, it's her passion of art and drawing that is garnering positive attention which is showcased on her Instagram account. Nakate spoke to editor of GENZINE, Jasmine over coffee to talk about how 2017 is the year of pursuing passions... 

 

When did you first begin drawing and when did you decide to pursuit it seriously?

I’ve always been drawing ever since I was young. I guess it’s always been a thing that I’ve loved but I kind of put it aside because you know, parents and things like that, they told me it’s not realistic and you can’t really pursuit that as a career and then just last year when I graduated I decided “You know what, I’m just going to put my art on Instagram and see if people like it.” And then it started to get a lot of positive feedback so know I’m thinking of continuing to create and see what comes from that. 

What materials do you use to create your art?

I work with fine liner pens, art liner pens in 0.4 and 0.6 and sometimes if it’s a bit bigger I’ll use brush paint but mostly just ink and then scan the work in. I’ve always liked having that contrast of black and white, I guess it’s more for aesthetic purposes. Whenever I work with colour it just doesn’t work for me, it gets too overcrowded because my style is quite harsh as well.

Your art explores themes of “vulnerability, rejection and power from a female perspective”, what drew you to these themes?

Well first of all, I only draw women and I make art for women so I want other women to look at it and feel like they can connect with it. The message for my art is that we have to work together, we’re all going to experience these moments of vulnerability and rejection but we’re also going to have beautiful moments and we need to see that we can’t pit each other against one another. We need to work together, support one another and beautiful things will come from that.

It’s so important, I know right now, not so much in Australia but for example, what's happening with Donald Trump in the States, more than ever we need to be there for one another. We can’t afford to think badly of each other, we need to create a positive space.

How do you think the female gaze is impacting the art of our generation?

I think it’s great! If you think back to a lot of famous artists, the majority of them anyway, were male and a lot of them painted or portrayed women. We’ve never seen before so many female artists illustrating, creating portraits and images of other women but it’s great because then we get to see this art from a female mind and that’s so important. It allows people to see us and hear our voices and our narrative, we’re able to express it. Why should we look at it from a male perspective, we can talk to ourselves you know? We’re not quiet.

We need to step away from as well, the exploitation of women, men using women for their own pleasure and desires. Showcase what we’re feeling and what we’re going through. And different minorities as well, that’s why I try to draw more ethnic women, to show different groups of women as well so everyone can identify, no ones excluded.

Finally, if you could brunch with any 3 people dead or alive, who would they be?

Number one would be Eryka Badu, I wouldn’t be talking I’d just be dying (laughs) Number two would be Sade and number three…. Nina Simone. I just realised these are all singers, good thing I really love music.   

You can find more of Nakate's art on her Instagram and Tumblr