Appearing across the walls of the capital, Dreph’s portraits celebrate the humanity, beauty and strength of black British women.
You may already be familiar with the work of Neequaye ‘Dreph’ Dsane. The British Ghanaian street artist has been painting bright, colourful murals across the world’s walls for several years now – with his work appearing in Asia, Africa, the UAE, America and all throughout Europe. Vast and vibrant, they often pay tribute to the “living unsung heroes and heroines” of the global black community.
For his latest project, You Are Enough, Dreph has returned home to the streets of London – and this time, the focus is on the black British women. Sprawled across the walls of the capital, these giant, colourful creations celebrate “friends who are doing amazing things for their communities and society at large.” This includes charity workers (Linett Kamala), psychotherapists (Leyla Hussein), and survivors of sexual assault (Holly Diana May Oluwo). “This project is primarily about empowerment, particularly female empowerment and presenting an alternative narrative,” Dreph explains. “If in some small way some members of the general public feel inspired, enlightened, challenged, angered, or threatened… what more can an artist ask for?” We caught up with him to find out more.
How did you start painting?
I started painting in 1985 after first reading the book Subway Art, which documented the work of graffiti writers who illegally painted New York City subway trains. I was active on the graffiti scene for over three decades. A couple of years ago I started to make oil paintings, focusing on portraiture. In the last year, I have fused these two approaches to arrive at where I am today.