Arthouse Foundation Presents Diana Ejaita and Wilfred Ukpong
The Arthouse Foundation opened its first residency exhibition of 2019 at the Omenka Gallery on March 30, 2019. It features current artists-in-residence Diana Ejaita and Wilfred Ukpong, whose three-month artist residencies in Lagos with the Foundation, prompted new artistic projects, presented here that engaged the city of Lagos.
Diana Ejaita is a Nigerian/Italian artist based in Berlin who works in illustration and textile design. She received a BA at “Rennes 2” Fine Art University in Rennes, France, and a Masters at Fine Art University “HBK” in Braunschweig, Germany. During her residency, she experimented with the silkscreening process to explore the legacy of Nigerian author Amos Tutuola. Inspired by his stream of consciousness style and narrative patterns, Diana Ejaita explores the conversation between texts, images and objects.
She mirrors the author’s unique way of breaking down and recomposing classical myths in her artistic process, combining together a stream of diverse forms in her print series. She also creates sculptures that elaborate on these elusive figurations. In addition, she presents a short film based on Tutuola’s celebrated book, The Palm-Wine Drinkard, questioning the roles given to women in his narratives. Combining print, sculpture and video, Ejaita presents a contemporary vision of Tutuola’s iconic and surreal take on traditional mythology.
Nigerian-French artist Wilfred Ukpong is based in Oxford, UK, and works between photography, film, sculpture, installation and performance. He received his BA and Masters degrees from Ecole Supérieure d’Art Lorient, France and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Oxford Brookes University. Since 2011, Ukpong has developed a long term project in the Niger Delta that explores the environmental concerns of the oil and gas industry through film and community intervention. In Lagos, Ukpong has created another chapter, BC-2: Agents of Resistance, in this ten-part ‘Blazing Century’ project set within geographical locations embroiled in social and environmental conflicts, and filtered through a fictional and futuristic lens.
BC-2: Agents of Resistance explores contextual issues facing Makoko, the floating community located on the coast of the Lagos mainland, which is under constant threat of eviction and demolition. Incorporating photography, sculpture, film and sound installation, Ukpong creates a speculative dimension of Makoko that imagines alternative narratives of the future through the metaphors of resistance and resilience. The project draws on the communal histories of found objects and was created with the participation of the local youth as collaborators and subjects.
This exhibition is supported by the Sony Centre.
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