Nikki Wilson talks to Ola Aminu
27 Sep, 2023
Member of the Month: Ola Aminu

Each month, Nikki Wilson interviews an Ignite Member, asking five simple questions, to find out what creativity means to them, and how they see culture and creativity, and its potential, in Chelmsford.

This month Nikki talks to Ola Aminu.

How would you describe what you do? 

I’m a photographer.  It depends on the type of photography I’m doing but I try to tell stories with images. When I go through the process of editing my pictures, one of the questions I ask myself is, “what do I want the person who’s looking at this picture to see?”.   Effectively we’re telling a lot in a very simple snapshot in time and it’s all about telling stories,  projecting an image.  That’s what I keep in mind when I take those shots.

Photograph: A Nigerian bride waiting to be revealed at her traditional wedding ceremony in London

And who, or what gives you creative inspiration?

Other photographers, I have a number of collectives that I belong to, like 9 dots, a UK based collective of photographers.  It’s always interesting to see what others are doing, get inspired by their work, and hopefully they get inspiration out of your work. And I love all things beautiful, and always doing the best job of capturing those is a continuous inspiration. 

Photograph: Bee at the local garden centre, taken with a phone.

Is there one singular person that gives me inspiration? Not particularly. 

I get inspiration from movies.  Sometimes when I watch movies, it’s amazing, you kind of appreciate the cinematography, quite a bit more than the average person would, because you might think about “what had to be done to get that shot? And I think I must try that next time”. So yeah, I get inspiration from movies as well.

Photograph: The prayer of multitudes – taken at a church convention at Excel London

Photograph: A bride looks reflectively in a mirror while her bridesmaids helped her get ready

If you could try any new creative or cultural experience or practice, what would it be?

Dance, and Still Life Drawing, those two things.  I used to draw quite a bit when I was younger, but I just lost the flair for it and I would like to try that again, and dance maybe to get the daily exercise I should be getting that I’m not getting! 

What excites you about creativity and culture in Chelmsford?

I’ve been to a couple of events. One, Culture in the Park that was held at Chelmsford Museum. And what I found interesting was the breadth of different creators, from diverse backgrounds, so their outlook on things will be different, their creative outputs will be different. That’s always interesting to see. 

What would you like to see in Chelmsford that isn’t here yet?

I haven’t explored all that Chelmsford has to offer just yet, to say that there is anything that is currently missing. One thing I did think a few weeks ago was it would be good to have a few more theatre productions, especially given how expensive it is to go into London to see something.  We went to see Agatha Christie’s “Witness for the Prosecution” and I was talking about how expensive tickets were, I was thinking if we had more theatre productions, more plays, locally that might make them more accessible. 

Also, things that appeal to children.  I have three daughters and apart from going to the cinema or or going shopping or bowling, it’d be good to have more cultural or artistic things they could attend. 

And also, creative outlets where you can go and try out things like pottery.  We don’t get a lot of those, or maybe I don’t know they’re available, but those are kind of things I would like to see.

Photograph: My daughter’s sand covered feet on a trip to Bournemouth

All photographs within the article are by Ola Aminu see more of Ola’s work here.

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