What: Orita Meta - Crossroads
Who: Marcellina Akpojotor | Tonia Nneji | Chidinma Nnoli
Where: Rele Los Angeles, 8215 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA
When: Ongoing, by appointment. Tues - Sat; 12 PM - 5 PM
Rele Gallery presents Orita Meta - Crossroads a group exhibition featuring works from three contemporary Nigerian artists – Marcellina Akpojotor, Tonia Nneji and Chidinma Nnoli. Referencing the book Orita Meta – loosely translated as ‘a junction where three roads meet’ – by established Nigerian artist Peju Alastise, the exhibition explores the dialogue on gender and femininity between three exciting women artists working in Nigeria today.
While there have been recent strides to recognise and center the voices and contributions of women in contemporary artistic practice, there still exists a large gender imbalance in artistic representation and visibility from contemporary Nigeria. As such, it is important to illustrate both locally and internationally how women artists have taken ownership of their own narratives both in their thematic focus and stylistic treatment of form pushing beyond the reductive, unidirectional and often eroticised representations of women in contemporary Nigerian art.
The works these artists have created are all inspired by events that they have encountered and experienced as women in Nigeria. The works featured in this exhibition highlight issues such as purity culture, sexual autonomy, safe spaces and intimate dialogue as well as critical reflections on identity and trauma. A particularly striking quality of the works shown is the way they all explore the idea of femininity in completely varying methods, from their stylistic treatment of the female form in their work to their diverse engagement with contemporary issues which include the journey to female empowerment in contemporary society as well as the ways in which hegemonic, patriarchal power structures contribute to the constant marginalisation of women’s voices and experiences.
Employing collaging and traditional painting techniques, Marcellina Akpojotor produces richly textured and layered work with compelling visual imagery exploring femininity, personal and societal identity and issues surrounding women empowerment in contemporary society. Presenting work from her 'Conversation' series, Marcellina Akpojotor explores the importance of intimate, layered and continuous dialogue as a tool for driving change and interrogating existing narratives especially around issues on gender equality and women empowerment.