[dropcap size=big]A[/dropcap] Rainbow woman is what Ndidi Emefiele describes as a woman who is “A reflection of‘A reflection of light…an illusion constantly changing. She is as beautiful as you think she is and as toxic as you think she is”. Ndidi Emefiele is a Nigerian born artist who was recently showcased at the 1-54 Contemporary Art Fair. She is a mixed media artists that utilizes discarded materials such as plastic, Compact discs, textiles and fabrics. Rainbow is her recent series of works that portray female characters who wear glasses.
“My work is personal in the sense that I create art from personal experiences lived out or from those around me. I could decide to focus on a present issue or draw attention to an anomaly in that current space. I have lived with females for the most part of my life, having all sisters we would always engage in conversations that boarded on the feminine existence and what it meant to be female particularly in where we lived.”
“My media has become my means to protest.
The exaggerated heads are symbolic, particularly in the western part of Nigeria, where sculptural heads are depicted larger than they appear and embedded with cultural meanings. The head is called the “Ori” and it is considered the most important part of the body, regarded as the ‘locus of the ase of olodumare‘. The head is said to control a person’s destiny. My work is a combination of many things including culture.
“The glasses are my strategy to give the female some form of protection. It is that curtain, a veil, a mask behind which she masters the art of mobility, she is learning to work the alchemy of dissolving the hard conditions in which she finds herself. They have become a mark of identity, but also an element of style.”