Oneika Russell was born in 1980, in Kingston, Jamaica. She was educated at Goldsmith’s College, University College of London, Centre for Cultural Studies (MA in Interactive Arts) and at the Edna Manley College, where she studied Painting. She was a Commonwealth Foundation Arts & Crafts Awardee in 2007, which was conducted at the Post-Museum in Singapore. She currently resides in Kyoto, Japan, where she is conducting postgraduate research at the Kyoto Seika University, Film, Video and Media Arts Department. Oneika also edits Art:Jamaica, a blog on contemporary art from the perspective of a young Jamaican artist.
A multi media artist, Russell’s work increasingly incorporates installation which uses sound, drawing video, prints, books and objects to reclaim and assemble fragmented experiences and thought together. An interest in hand-craft and technological meeting points in service of explorations of history, culture and social narratives have always informed her practice.
“I am also interested in how the crafting of cultural and national identity expresses itself in our visual culture and how we invite consumption of these identities. Through my practice I am in search of both quasi-scientific and highly subjective means of understanding the locations, cultures and history from which my identity emerges. Images produced for The Tourism Industry are examples of this. This work is specifically about looking at the ‘sweetness’ of images of ‘Paradise’ which I as the artist enjoy but am also conscious that are at odds with other realities and the dimensionality I experience as a native of one of these sites of ‘Paradise’. The combined and conflicting feelings of desirability and disgust experienced by the viewer of my work, the consumer of the Caribbean and those of us that live here are of key interests in my practice.”