Daughter of Esan(first generation) (2018) by Marcellina AkpojotorRele Arts Foundation
Part of her series 'Daughter of Esan' and shown in her solo exhibition She Was Not Dreaming, Marcellina Akpojotor's painting Daughter of Esan(first generation) pays homage to her great-grandmother's radical vision for literacy and education.
Working primarily with the Ankara fabric commonly known as the ‘African print fabric’ despite its Dutch origins, Akpojotor employs collaging and traditional painting techniques to produce richly textured and layered work with compelling visual imagery exploring femininity, personal and cultural history and issues surrounding women empowerment in contemporary society.
Akpojotor’s process involves folding and gluing of strips of fabric in a painterly delineation of form in what can be described as an ongoing interrogation of discarded fabric. Her exploration of this material started out as an interest in its functionality as human clothing with her later beginning to think about the politics of the material as a cultural signifier and as a conduit for memory and shared energy.
What is particularly striking about this painting is the simultaneous absence and presence of the human figure. A contemplation on loss and memory.
From the empty rocking chair shown at the left of the picture plane,
to the charcoal portrait in the upper right register, this perceived presence and absence serves as site of inquiry into the physicality of being and nature of memory.
With this work, the artist honours the memory of a woman whose vision paced the way for coming generations of women in her family to reach various academic levels.
Rele Arts Foundation | Rele Gallery
Onikan, Lagos, Nigeria
For more information visit www.rele.co
Exhibit created by
Rele Gallery | Rele Arts Foundation