Artist Interview - Sonia Ben Achoura

Artist interview between Shannon Skye Robinson and Lois Emma Harkin (Curating Futures Project Coordinator), and Sonia Ben Achoura (Curating Futures Artist).

* Warning, mature content- nudity *

Date of Interview: 20th of December 2021

Participants: Shannon Skye Robinson (SSR) and Lois Emma Harkin (LEH) and Sonia Ben Achoura (SBA)

SSR/LEH: What is your background?

SBA: I focus predominantly on geometric abstraction and contemporary landscape in my work. As an artist with a background in psychology, my practice lies at the intersection between art and science. My fascination with human nature at the present stage of evolution manifests in geometric compositions with futuristic overtones. My concern for the environment transpires throughout my body of work, as I contemplate future outcomes through my art.


SSR/LEH: How did you get into art/ creativity?

SBA. I was always involved in the arts. I had an early initial career as a dancer and choreographer. I progressively became drawn into painting by creating costumes and stage sets. I later studied psychology, a discipline which has inspired my art over the years. I developed an extensive art vocabulary that allows me to bring to life conceptualisations of mind and nature. As a result, my work manifest in blueprints of the mind, psychological icons in oils and acrylics.

Artwork produced by Sonia Ben Achoura


SSR/LEH: What do you get out of producing work?

SBA: Art is both a lifestyle and a state of mind that are central to my life. The mindfulness about art is something that I cannot go without. There is a healthy cyclical nature to the creative process, from initial inspiration, through research and development, to completion of a project. The artwork itself then reveals its message upon completion. It is a mysterious process whereby I learn about myself and the world.

Artwork produced by Sonia Ben Achoura


SSR/LEH: How do you want your work to be perceived by an audience?

SBA: I create each of my paintings to be a world in itself. My paintings are intended to capture some of the life force. I ensure that my works include sufficient elements to engage the mind. Each of them means something to me. They are conceptual and, as a result, I often write about my art. I would hope that my paintings radiate emotional warmth through my use of colour. They are meant to provide a space to explore and reflect upon new ideas, events and emotions. I wish that they engender a sense of awe at the beauty of life. At their essence is a sense of timelessness; compositions that encompass a sense of ‘Gestalt’, or unity and coherence. I guess this is the alpha and the omega of my art practice. I hope viewers will immerse themselves into the vivid emotive tales that I depict, and find new hope and beauty.

Artwork produced by Sonia Ben Achoura


SSR/LEH: Who are your biggest inspirations?

SBA: I draw inspiration from my psychology work, from technological advancements, and last but not least, from nature. Whenever I run out of inspiration, travel is a great way to find some new creative inspiration!

Artwork produced by Sonia Ben Achoura


SSR/LEH: What are the main concepts or themes you explore within your work?

SBA: My art practice is also my spiritual practice, and I aim at capturing some of the focused mindfulness that I cultivate into my artworks. I aim at achieving a sense of timelessness in my work. Nature is the greatest master, and always a source of inspiration. The future of life on Earth has been a topic of interest since from the early days. During the pandemic, my art became increasingly more political, reflecting the social concerns of our times.


SSR/LEH: What is the main thing you have learnt through your creative practice?

SBA: Art is a wondrous journey. I learnt to put integrity at the core of my art practice. I paint from direct experience, never from random photographs. Most importantly, I paint when I am sure that the idea is truly original and well researched. I never copy other artists’ work.

Artwork produced by Sonia Ben Achoura


SSR/LEH: Who is your work for? Yourself? A small community? A specific sector of society? Or is it for everyone?

SBA: Art, for me, is like breathing. It is a process of visual thinking, and is driven by emotion. I speak in my abstract, inner voice with no particular aim or goal.

SSR/LEH: What is the best piece of advice you could give to another artist, or someone just starting out in the creative sector?

SBA: I would advise them to take their time to experiment, until they find their favourite medium. Once they narrow down their practice to a medium they feel truly comfortable with, it will become possible for them to find their voice as an artist.

SSR/LEH: Why did you decide to join the Curating Futures community?

SBA: Art can be a solitary journey. It is also a rich and complex journey when navigated collectively. Being able to reach out to an art community of like-minded people who are focused on their art practice is invaluable. It is always fascinating to see what others are creating in their own studios. Art is, ultimately, a collective enterprise.


You can find Sonia Ben Achoura via her Instagram