Oya Chronicles: In Conversation with My Mother
On August 27, 2017, Oya Media and Kànbí Contemporary will present Oya Chronicles: In Conversation with my Mother, featuring renowned Nigerian media personality Funmi Iyanda, leading contemporary artist Gbolahan Ayoola, and The Blue Woman.
In Conversation with my Mother is the physical embodiment of the literary piece of the same name, a haunting piece of literature which promotes dialogue as a form of healing, bridging the space between writer Funmi Iyanda and her mother. Oya Chronicles cleverly incorporates dance and voice acting to recreate this conversation, transporting it from page to stage, universalising its importance in the process. What begins as a dialogue between mother and daughter emerges as a timeless, ageless, and genderless conversation between two humans, each longingly searching for each other, extending their hands through eternity, reaching for love and healing, but mostly, for each other. The evening includes a dance performance, the auction of a single Artwork by Ayoola for charity, a dialogue between Iyanda and Ayoola, a live vinyl mixer, and a concluding spoken word poetry performance.
Iyanda’s article The Blue Woman, further develops the central theme conceived by Ayoola as the basis of his ‘Blue Woman Series’ (2008 – 2017). The canvases explore her story, and her fundamental reason for being. The Blue Woman, through her elegance, appears unsettled: we ascribe all our values and faults to her physicality, yet her eyes are unsteady, she has not been given a voice to agree or detest. The longer we look at her the surer her eyes become, and inversely the less sure ours become; we discover that hers are the benevolent eyes of knowledge, of timeless wisdom, and her gaze is an invitation to us, a plea, to embrace all that we know we truly are, our power, that in this chaotic sphere of modern life we too easily forget. Chronicles is a rare chance to see a very limited collection of Ayoola’s masterful works, before his first solo exhibition in the UK.
In synergy with the philosophy of Oya Chronicles, Conversations with my Mother is an immersive experience, an invitation to step out of day-to-day consciousness, and embrace the Blue Woman philosophy— you are more than you allow yourself to be. Oya Chronicles creates a single narrative through the bridging of mediums, complementing the story of Iyanda with the art of Ayoola, forming a vibrant and inclusive whole, and an inspiring and enchanting experience.
Funmi Iyanda is a multi award-winning broadcaster, TV personality, film producer and writer. She is CEO at Oya Media London and founder of ChangeALife Nigeria. She is recognised by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a young global leader and by the BBC as one of the Women to Watch in its 100 Women Series (2014).
Mixed media artist Ayoola Gbolahan (b.1977) specialised in painting from Osun State. He received his BA in Fine Art from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. Following his eduction, Ayoola completed a residency with renowned Nigerian painter Tola Wewe. In 2007 he was awarded for his work Catalonia at the National Gallery of Art, Nigeria. His work is personal, deeply layered with emotions, and employs countless symbols and signs inspired by his African heritage that tap into a greater collective consciousness which depicts the archetypal realm lying just below the skin of everyday ordinary awareness.
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