By Rebecca Ejifoma
Inside Were Studio, Lekki rose yet another girl-power show with the theme, ‘Growth of A Black Female Artist.’ The two-day Noire exhibition and art sales which held on December 11 and 12 was a parade of bustling creative energy from six young female artists using different media. No fewer than 40 art pieces lined the walls with digital paintings, oil on canvas, print, photography collage, mixed media amongst others. The Noire exhibition is an experience founded by black women to encourage the appreciation and understanding of their art, promote the representation of their lives, aspirations, relationships, culture and feelings in art. The featured artists include Donna Duke, Zida Kalu, Blossom Oyeyipo, Pamela Oma, Fiyin Koko and Nneoma Ndukwe.
Zida Kalu, born in 1998, is a self-taught digital artist inspired by portraits of black women and range of colours. Formally taught as a business administrator. Using her mobile phone and her fingers, she creates abstract pieces using lines and geometric shapes. She displays black women as powerful, tireless, versatile, passion-filled beings whose beauty can be expressed in varied forms. Some of her pieces at the show include ‘Julieta’, ‘Zikoro’, ‘Emily Got A Rose’, ‘Sweet November’ ‘Unwind’ ‘Honey’ ‘Psychedelic I’ and ‘Pray for the People.’
Blossom Oyeyipo, a visual artist living and working in Lagos, Nigeria was formally trained as a builder. She graduated from the Department of Building Technology, Covenant University Ota in 2019. Very passionate about visual storytelling, Oyeyipo’s works raises existential themes. Her works include ‘Struggling artists’, ‘Cut from the Same Cloth Series’, ‘Name Tag.’
Fiyinfolowa ‘Fiyin Koko’ Tunde Onadele is a figurative painter, influenced by her mother who is a painter. Her work is inspired by all facets of womanism and encapsulates the unerring beauty of black women. Fiyin expresses their feminine resilience in a delicate often humorous and ethereal style while focusing on the prime use of symbolism to capture her personal experiences, hopes and dreams. Fiyin koko’s works include ‘Marun,’ ‘Mefa,’ ‘Abefe,’ ‘Ore,’ ‘Name Tag,’ ‘Ina,’ and ‘Ejima.’
Pamela Oma is a self-taught digital designer currently exploring different aspects of design, most especially illustrations and brand design. Naturally inquisitive, her vision is to empower women with her body of works. With the use of software such as Adobe illustrator and Photoshop, she keeps a physical sketch book where she lays the foundation for her designs that she uses software to manipulate. Pamela Oma’s pieces at the show include ‘Name Tag’, ‘Beautiful Chaos’, and ‘It’s Okay to Cry.’
The 22-year old Donna Duke showcased pieces in digital print on texture matte paper, 24k gold leaf, copper leaf, pelé té bité fabric, resin on wooden panel, media on canvas, and digital oil print among others. Art, to her, is a vehicle to communicate her culture, feelings, and heritage. Her six works at the show are “Pragma”, “Crimson and Clover”, “Ojongo”, “The Beautiful Sufferer”, “Okay”, and “Till Life Do Us Part.”
“Ojungo” is Duke’s favourite for personal reasons. “It is my most experimental and it is the most meaningful. I painted it in representation of my culture, my heritage, my mother and where we are from.” Based in Lagos, her influence originates from historic and contemporary accounts of the black experience while providing a personal narrative within each piece. As a mixed media artist, Duke was inspired Frida Kahlo, a Mexican artist best known for bright coloured self-portraits. The graduate of History and daughter of the former governor of Akwa-Ibom State, Donald Duke, started drawing and painting at five and went on to study art at 16. Her focus has been on cubism and surrealism. Her techniques are interwoven with the interpretation of black portraiture with her figures existing in a fixed idealised emotion, telling her story from her perspective.
Nneoma Ndukwe is a lawyer, arbitrator and multidimensional artist. She believes art to be an expression of self through different media. With a knack for writing, painting and digital art, she had set up her own gallery named The NNART Gallery. With her pieces, she hopes to ignite healthy conversations about the human experience from a female perspective. Nneoma Ndukwe’s pieces include ‘Name Tag’, ‘Thoughts’, ‘Gemini’, as well as ‘Kaizeen and Shoshin.’