Tina Ramos Ekongo Lancashire, United Kingdom
Tina Ramos Ekongo is an Equatorial Guinean painter and illustrator who lives and works in Manchester, England. She was born in 1987 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. She obtained her bachelor degree in Fashion Design in 2010 from Escuela Superior de Disenyo (School of Design) in Valencia, Spain. Previously in 2008 she studied Art and Craft in Escuela de Artes de (School of art) in Zaragoza, Spain.
Style and Subject Influences: Cheri Samba, Frida Khalo I have been rise in a matriarchy, therefore my grandmother Mr. Ekongo or called by everyone mama yakongo, is the person who has inspired every part of my life. She represent what be an African woman means, straight and courage. She is now over her 80 s. However as a single mother in the 50 s in a colonized African country (Equatorial Guinea), she fought back every racial, social, emotional, physical straggle life put on her way and she has been able to rise strong, educated and humble African women and men of my family. I have been always painting and drawing. The so called talent has be with me my entire life since I was 7 years old. Even that I studied Arts and design I didn't consider painting as a way of make a living. However until 2014 I take it seriously when a friend got into my heart and brought my blessing back and now I see it as my life. Regarding my work, all started with a journey of self-discovery, by trying to show the cultural and traditional richness that involve women all over the continent, I am telling my story, the story of every black woman. The style of my work, mainly portrait is very influenced on the African traditional murals on health campaigns and the artwork you find in African barbershops and hair saloons what takes me to the work of the great artist Cheri Samba from who I have admiration and respect. While the content and the history behind my work are inspired by the work of the surrealist Mexican artist Frida Khalo which feminist approach has had a great effect on the way I depict the African woman.