Venue: Tyburn Gallery, 26 Barrett Street, London, W1U 1BG
Dates: 9 February 2018 – 9 May 2018
Private View: Thursday 8 February 2018, 6-8:30PM
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday, 10AM – 6PM, Saturday 12PM – 5PM
Tyburn Gallery is pleased to present Òkhùo, a solo exhibition by Taiye Idahor. Born and based in Lagos, Nigeria, Idahor traces her heritage to the ancient empire of Benin City, whose history and iconography she references in her practice. Working within media as diverse as sculpture, collage, drawing, and installation, she explores layers of themes which are simultaneously universal and intimate, expressing female and African identity within the broader contexts of history, tradition and globalisation.
The title of the exhibition, Òkhùo, translates to ‘Woman’ in the Bini language of Benin City. In this body of work, Idahor presents a reflection on women and power through the iconic figure of the Iyoba, mother of the king of Benin City. The position of Iyoba was first introduced in the 16th century by Oba Esigie in order to honour his mother, Queen Idia, for her strength and support, and it remains a title of high rank within the Bini royal hierarchy. Like the king and high-ranking chiefs, the Iyoba’s traditional regalia involves an elaborate ensemble of coral beads. Ivie, the name of the series presented in the exhibition, can be translated as ‘beads’ or ‘beauty’. These beads have become a symbolic representation of women’s authority and influence, and yet their aesthetic is casually evoked by many modern brides in Nigeria, often using inexpensive plastic beads instead of real coral. The practices of imitation and mass-production raise important questions about the authenticity of the power and respect accorded to women today.
The works presented in the show highlight the voids created by the absence of women in genuine positions of power, and the uncertainty felt by women who must define themselves among all of the conflicting expectations, demands, and disempowering realities of society. Removing the bodies of brides that carry the beads, Idahor leaves these adornments to float in space, lost, and wandering, without an anchor. What emerges are questions about how women occupy the positions accorded to them, and whether it is possible to pull together various roles of marriage, family, motherhood, and business, against an increasingly complex backdrop of traditional, religious expectations commingling with the expectations of 21st century life. In this changing environment, is it possible for the modern woman to anchor herself in a way that gives her real authority over her own identity? What does it mean to be a modern woman? And might it be better to look back to the powerful women of Bini history for guidance, rather than looking to Eurocentric examples of female empowerment?
Òkhùo is a call for women to begin seeing the title of “woman” as powerful in itself, to reclaim the respect that this position entitles them to, and to boldly occupy their place of authority in the world.
Taiye Idahor was born in 1984 in Lagos, Nigeria, where she currently lives and works. In 2007, she graduated from Yaba College of Technology in Lagos with a Higher National Diploma in Fine Arts, specialising in sculpture.
She has participated in residency programmes including El Ranchito at Matadero Madrid (2017), the Bag Factory Residency in Johannesburg, South Africa (2015), CCA Lagos Asiko Art School Program in Dakar, Senegal (2014), PROJET: RENCONTRES “DJEKA MIRI” at the Centre Soleil d’Afrique in Bamako, Mali (2014), SIMSALABOOM! Before you learn to fly, learn how to fall: International Summer Academy in Salzburg, Austria (2013), Bakassi Peninsul’Art in Limbe, Cameroon (2011), Ishiwata Residency in Yokohama, Japan (2010), and the 6th Harmattan Workshop, held in Agbarha- Otor, Delta State, Nigeria (2004).
Recent group exhibitions include Chinafrika, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig, Germany (2017), Significations, Provincial Centre of Arts and Design, Havana, Cuba (2017), Lines, Motions and Ritual, Magnan Metz, New York, USA (2017), Ori meta, odun meta, ibikan, shown at the ISCP, New York, USA (2017) and at the Centre for Contemporary Art Lagos, Nigeria (2016); Standing Out, Temple Muse, Lagos, Nigeria (2016); TimeLine, Bag Factory Studios, Johannesburg, South Africa (2015); Society of Nigerian Artists’ 50th Anniversary Exhibition, Omenka Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria (2014); l’Art au service de la réconciliation, Centre Soleil d’Afrique, Bamako, Mali (2014); Marker 2013, a special project at Art Dubai Fair, Dubai, UAE (2013); Nigeria Now: Emerging trends of Contemporary Art in Nigeria, a special project at Art Africa Miami Arts Fair, Miami, FL, USA (2012); Water and Purity, Wheatbaker Hotel Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria (2012); Colours and Creativity, National Museum Onikan, Lagos, Nigeria (2012); and An Anonymous Tale, Yokohama Creative City Center, Yokohama, Japan (2011).
The artist presented her first solo exhibition, Hairvolution, in 2014 at the Whitespace Gallery in Lagos, Nigeria.
Her work is included in the collection of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa.
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Nearest Tube: Bond Street
Venue: ISCP 1040 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Opening Reception: Apr 21, 2017, 6–9pm
Open Hours: Tuesday–Friday, 12–6pm
ISCP has hosted an annual institution-in-residence since 2011. This annual residency was initiated to support cultural exchange by bringing an international perspective to a local context. This year, ISCP has invited CCA Lagos, an independent non-profit making visual art organization founded in December 2007 and based in Lagos, Nigeria to be in residence. CCA Lagos is in residence at ISCP through June 7th and will present an exhibition and series of public programs during this time.
In Nigeria, CCA Lagos provides a platform for the development, presentation, and discussion of contemporary visual art and culture. It seeks to create new audiences and to prioritize media such as photography, film and video, performance and installation art which were traditionally under-represented in Nigeria. It supports, and presents the intellectual and critical work of art and culture practitioners through exhibitions and public programs. In addition, it encourages and promotes the professionalization of art production and curatorship in Nigeria and West Africa collaborating with artists, curators, writers, theorists and national and international organizations.
CCA Lagos at ISCP centers around the exhibition Orí méta odún méta ibìkan. Originally presented at CCA Lagos in 2016, this exhibition is reconstructed at ISCP and features selections from CCA Lagos’s archives as well as works in progress by three Nigerian artists–Kelani Abass, Taiye Idahor and Abraham Oghobase. The exhibition considers the residency as an extension of the artist’s studio, a space of experimentation, of errors and counter errors, as moments of freedom and possibilities.
The works by all three artists come out of their observations and experiences during their separate residencies at the Salzburg Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Austria. This is reflected in the title which translates as Three heads, three years, one place. Idahor’s collage installation is a self-portrait of her Salzburg studio—rethought for New York City—and made up of several pieces to make a mosaic on which she cuts, layers, and pastes bits and pieces that come from all three artists’ time and experience of Salzburg. Stamping and a local Nigerian Ankara cloth form the basis for Abass’s work, while Oghobase experiments with lithography as it relates to photography.
The exhibition will be supported by public programs throughout May including artist talks and roundtables. More details will be announced soon.
The artists’s residencies from 2013-2015 in Salzburg form part of an ongoing collaboration initiated and supported by Salzburg Summer Academy of Fine Arts, Austria and CCA, Lagos and is curated by Bisi SIlva.
April 18, 2017
Taiye Idahor will speak about how physical and mental space impacts her work, including her installation on view as part of CCA Lagos at ISCP. Idahor grew up in Lagos, Nigeria. Her work deals with concepts of female identity, with “hair” as a recurring theme. She is interested in issues of trade, beauty, the environment and globalization, and examines identity in present-day Africa.
This program is supported, in part, by Dennis Elliott Founder’s Fund, New York City Council District 34, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Africa as a place and a font of diaspora has long served as an energizing if contentious context for producing, mediating, and sustaining art and art making. Significations is a dialogic exhibition that frames contemporary imaginations of a capacious Africa as a subject of conversation among artists from all over the Atlantic World. Read more
Significations is curated by Professor Awam Amkpa.
This is a group exhibition of painting, sculpture, fashion, film, and mixed media by Alumni of the Yaba College of Art, Design and Printing. The exhibition was accompanied by an award ceremony by the rector of the college, recognizing the group for it’s contributions to the visual arts in the last few years. I am honored to have been one of the awardees.
Exhibition runs from 31st October – 30th November 2016
Venue: Yusuf Grillo Art gallery, Yaba College of Technology Lagos Nigeria.
ART X Lagos is a new art fair designed to widen Nigeria’s connection to the contemporary art scene across Africa and internationally. The fair aims to provide the best insight into what the visual art sector in Africa has to offer to a wider local and international audience, and to encourage African and international patrons to visit Lagos.
I will be at ArtX Lagos under SMO contemporary art.
The maiden edition of ART X Lagos will take place at The Civic Centre, in Victoria Island, Lagos, from Friday 4th November to Sunday 6th November 2016.
Be sure to come by, the event is free on Saturday and Sunday but please register on www.artxlagos.com
Orí méta odún méta ibìkan
Date: 19 June– 24 July 2016
Venue: Centre for Contemporary Art Lagos, 9 McEwen street Sabo Yaba Lagos.
“Orí méta odún méta ibìkan” features the process of works in progress by three Nigerian artists – Kelani Abass, Taiye Idahor and Abraham Oghobase – who work across three different media and undertook residencies over a three year period (2013-2015) in the same place at the Salzburg Summer Academy of Fine Arts, Austria.
Taiye Idahor, the first participant in 2013 chose the course “SIMSALABOOM! Before you learn to fly, learn how to fall” This was appropriate for the sculptor who was using mixed media but was interesting in taking it further by trying other media. The course’s focus on collage provided the perfect opportunity for a new direction. As she observed and interacted with her colleaugues whilst they worked their process – most of them new to her – responded to her interest not only in layering, cutting, pasting, scratching, but also to the tactile, to textures and to the three dimensionality with which she was so familiar in her sculptural work. Her presentation here consists of a self portrait in the Salzburg studio made up of several pieces to make a mosaic on which she is cutting, layering, pasting bits and pieces that come from all three artists’ time and experience of the residency creating one work in which three experiences coalesce. Bisi Silva
Date: May 14- August 15 2016
Venue: Temple Muse, 21 Amodu Tijani Close off Sanusi Fafunwa Victoria Island, Lagos.
Standing Out showcases the art of eleven leading and emerging female artists whose work reflects a multitude of issues surrounding feminism and equality, through a variety of media including painting, photography, print, sculpture, clay, glass, weaving, mixed media and performance. What echoes through all the works is energy, resilience, interconnections and overlapping memories and identities, with rich visual metaphors of breaking boundaries across psychological, physical and emotional landscapes.