Rele Gallery is pleased to present at FNB Art Fair Johannesburg the work of three contemporary artists from Nigeria, Marcellina Akpojotor, Sejiro Avoseh and Tonia Nneji.
Mixed media artist Marcellina Akpojotor’s featured series titled ‘Conversations’ is an ongoing exploration of dialogue and its ability to generate collaboration and promote gender equality in societies that are largely patriarchal such as her home country Nigeria. Akpojotor centralises women in her work and places them in positions of authority, power and control; intentionally presenting them in spaces where they are not second guessed. Akpojotor’s artistic medium and sensibility draws from the way she views fabric in conjunction to identity. She uses castaway textiles to create her forms, inspired by the kinship, community, familiarity and timelessness of Ankara fabric in the Nigeria society.
Artist Sejiro Avoseh’s formal language is collage – where he creates a phantasm of forms as commentaries on human experiences and existential conditions. His featured series titled ‘Aunty Vaider’s Shop’ recounts his experience as a young boy navigating an entirely female space – a hair salon. He details in his pieces a world occupied with beauty, pride and gossip. While others may journal, Avoseh’s memory is his subject matter. The central point of his work is the use of automobile heads, which he manipulates to represent the journey that is the human condition, ever moving and evolving.
Artist Tonia Nneji’s featured series ‘Nights In My Corner’ is a continuation of Nneji’s artistic expression inspired by her experience as a female living with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Nneji intentionally uses bold colours and patterns to debunk a culture of silence, speaking audaciously about the trauma experienced as a result of her medical condition. This series portrays a woman grappling for control of her body, trapped between frustration in receiving unsubstantiated diagnoses, and the disappointment in search of treatments in a country with religious fanatics and failed health care structures.