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Artist Statement

Oneika’s work has always been informed by her interest in the juncture points of the hand-crafted and the technological in explorations of history, culture and social narratives. Many of the narratives in her earlier work were imaginings, re-inventions and re-readings inspired by experience and locations as well as romanticized memories from literature, cartoons, picture books and fairy tales, magazines and other media. Oneika's current work however increasingly develops into multi and mixed media installations, and by using sound, drawing, video, prints, books and objects, she reclaims and reassembles fragmented experiences and thoughts into new cohesive resolutions and stories. 


‘A Natural History’ has been an ongoing project between 2009 and 2014. The body of work includes several videos, digital images, drawings and prints. Usage of photography and drawing via digital and traditional means has provided Oneika with this ability to document and communicate experiences, thought and memory. Even though this work is deeply personal, the feelings of isolation, outsiderness and search for self are a universal human experience. The work uses natural scenery from landscaped park areas, and includes figures and motifs taken from ethnographic photography. It speaks to the fetishization of the primitive and the mystical in a culture.

Oneika’s latest work has interrogates ways in which these same connections can be preserved. ‘Preservations’ is an ongoing installation work, using gold-painted objects as fragments of drawings made from Facebook connections and several gold paintings on paper. Gold is integral when thinking of artefacts and the ‘preserving’ or ‘making precious’ of historical memory and she uses it as a visual device to reference this value and sense of rarity.


Oneika graduated from the Edna Manley College, Jamaica in 2003 with a Diploma in Painting and Goldsmiths College, London in 2004 with an MA in Interactive media in the Centre for Cultural Studies. In 2010 she completed the Doctoral Course in Art at Kyoto Seika University, Japan as a Monbukagakusho Scholar, specialising in Animation in Contemporary Art. Oneika is currently a lecturer across The Fine Art and Visual Communication Departments at The Edna Manley College.


1. Oneika Russel

"Preservations 4" 2018, 

 Acrylic and Ink on Paper,
44  x 60 Inches

2. Oneika Russel

"Preservations 3," 2018

Acrylic and Ink on Paper

44 x 60 Inches

3b.Contact paper right side-DSC03360.JPG
3a.Contact paper left side-DSC03359.JPG

4. Oneika Russel

"Contact Paper" , 2017

wall installation- felt, acrylic, marker, polyacrylic, plastic toys and

contact paper,

18” x 9’

5. Oneika Russel

"They say you can dream a thing

more than once," 2014


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