Meet the artist – Funmi Lijadu

A stylishly-dressed young woman standing in front of 2 collages on a pink wall. She is smiling and gesturing
A stylishly-dressed young woman standing in front of 2 collages on a pink wall. She is smiling and gesturing

This month we meet Funmi Lijadu – Neuk Collective member, writer, and collage artist with an interest in social issues, identity and surrealism.

Profile by Elspeth Wilson


Hi Funmi! Could you tell us a bit more about your work and what you do?  

I make collage art that often reflects social issues and explores identity. I make animations, and collages on paper primarily. I love dealing with a wide range of themes in my work and enjoy the experimentation that collage allows through cutting and pasting and more digital methods as well. In both 2018 and 2021, I was commissioned by Tate Collective for Black History Month to respond to the work of artists in their collection.


Pull quote reading "My collages often deal with exploring better realities for groups without power" - Funmi Lijadu. It is accompanied by a collage of a young black woman holding a child in the pose of a Madonna and Child. There is writing collaged over it, listing various names of the virgin.

Collage with a young black woman looking cool and taking a selfiein front of an astronaut and phallic-looking rocket. The background is space, but with collaged eyes on it.

You’ve talked about world-building through your art and the combination of visual culture and social change – do you see your collages as a way to creating different possible futures?

I think collage can be used to create different futures in that the process involves extracting, uplifting, and putting things into place. By using images out of context and building a new environment for them you can communicate complicated ideas in interesting ways. My collages often deal with exploring better realities for groups without power.

You recently ran a workshop on collage for Neuk Collective. Can you tell us about what drew you to Neuk in the first place?

I really enjoyed running the art workshop for Neuk! What drew me to Neuk is the conversations that I had about how disability and access need to be prioritised in the art world. Unfortunately, there is much, much more to be done, but I think Neuk is starting very important conversations. 

Collage with  the head and neck of a young black woman (the artist), in the centre of the canvas, eyes shut as though sleeping. She is surrounded by torn images of roses, and on one side, a red brick wall.

Does being part of a collective of neurodivergent artists impact your practice or your work at all?

I find myself inspired by the way other people work, hearing about their hopes for the future and coming up with ideas together.

All images courtesy and copyright of the artist.


You can see more of Funmi’s work on her website and social media:

Website: funmilijadu.com/aboutme

Instagram: @artbyfunmi


Profile written by Elspeth Wilson