NURTURE: In the Life of an Indigenous Person is a six-piece collaborative installation that explores environmental stability and Indigenous futurism by focusing on the adolescent population of West Africa and their upbringing throughout formative years. Nigerian artists, Jaiyeola Oduyoye, Akorede Aremo, Oluchi Nwachukwu, Folabomi Animashaun, Itunu Omotoso, Adaku Emenike, Oluwamayowa Olomo, Omowunmi Ogundipe, Kosisochukwu Nwankwo (June), and Adekepemi Aderemi integrated natural and sustainable based artistic mediums to institute a diverse structure of creativity through weaving, sculpture, textiles, photography and film, and melodic poetry.
The living legacy of Indigenous people is one of culture, history, and innovation that has shaped the very core of the world and set high standard of best nurturing and healing practices on this planet. NURTURE: In the Life of an Indigenous Person aims to inspire a culturally conscious environmental practice where the newly born are raised and surrounded by native, locally sourced, re-purposed elements created by Indigenous people and for Indigenous people, as well as create a nostalgic environment for other Indigenous stakeholders. It gives homage to the Nigerian way of life by showcasing architectural, design and artistic intellect by addressing three aspects — safety, impact, and expression.This collection of collaborative works provides avenue into practical and philosophical utilization processes of various forms of artistic expressions used to empower African women and Indigenous women with tools to possess a better understanding of place and space, life, history, and future.
Support for NURTURE: In the Life of an Indigenous Person and the Indigenous International: Green Architecture Project was provided by the Soul of Nations Foundation, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Consular General Lagos, and MOCA Lagos. Mentorship was provide was provided by Layo Bright and Natalie Ball. Indigenous International is the umbrella program created through the Soul of Nations Foundation’s Indigenous Arts Expansion Initiative which is aimed to help connect Indigenous and Black communities with boundary-pushing cultural and artistic experiences around the world.
Works On View
Reflection of Self is a two-piece domestic interior architectural installation created by Itunu Omotoso, which comprises of a mirror and lamp made from locally sourced copper, which has many historic and cultural facets. When paired, these two pieces can proved a window into the pivotal interpersonal moments of Omotoso’s childhood as it relates to consciousness, self-awareness and reflection. Omotoso believes that the only way to achieve a society of healthy and well-to-do adults, is to nurture our children with love, affection, and sense of purpose for successful mental and social development. As a young adult, Omotoso’s self observations oftentimes seemed like a relentless task that needed continuous engagement to nurture healthy relationships with herself and community.
Akorede Aremo’s The Tale of Ikogosi is a multimedia folklore narration panted on stretched canvas and framed in locally sourced bamboo. This work is inspired by the story of the Ikogosi Warm Spring, located in Ekiti State, Nigeria. It is a story told to young children by the locals educating them about their heritage and the source of the healing powers of the spring. The painting portrays an historic narrative of a hunter named Awopereige and his wives who were the first settlers of the Ikogosi forest. Bamboo was incorporated as the frame of this monumental piece because of its common cultivation and cultural relevance to Yorubaland. Awopereige, a hunter, can be observed on the right-hand register, kneeling in obeisance to Obaluwaye earnestly asking the receipt of healing power. In return, Obaluaye’s palm is raised thus having granted Awopereige’s request. However, after receiving this almighty gift, Awopereige’s body began to turn into water, in which is village benefited from.
The left register depicts Awopereige’s two wives and son. Awopereige’s first wife was known for being level headed and gave birth to his sons, while the second wife, who was known to be affiliated with mischief, gave birth to daughters. Awopereige wanted to keep his family away from ailments. Therefore, he made secret a pact with the god Obaluaye to become a healer and, in exchange, he would bequeath his healing abilities to his first-born son at the time of his death. However, just before his inevitable passing, he finally confessed his pact to his family, and upon receiving this obscure news, his wives chose to join him in the afterlife.
Upon old age, Awopereige’s first-born son, who became a healer in his own right, climbed to the top of a hill and became a cold spring, like his father, which served as healing springs for the locals and ran alongside each other without mixing. At the point of confluence, where the four sources become two major streams of hot and cold water, a symbiotic relation of a palm and mahogany tree is decided. This intertwined tree is believed to be a representation of the two wives growing together, as at the root are strands of black hair.
Adekepemi Aderemi’s collection of garments depict nurtured sensations in wearable form through the infusion of symbology and ancient West African tradition, whilst also representing the community of family, unity with one’s people, togetherness & interdependence.The patterned fabric used in each piece is Adire (more commonly referred to as tie-dye) and was created by using traditional batik (wax resist) methods. The chosen dyes, a spectrum of brown hues and earth tones, have been utilized to signify the lands in which we inhabit, and the foundation color theory and psychological aspects of this work also affirm the warmth of Mother Earth’s beauty.The garments provide a sense of sanctity through hand-painted symbols, which derive from an ancient system located in the south-eastern region of Nigeria, called Nsibidi. These Nsibidi symbols Indigenous love, unity, patriotism, community, expression, triumph, feast gatherings, and much more. The garments also include hand-embroidery, such as chain-stitched circles, which is commonly used when making traditional outfits for household elders and leaders.
Oluwamayowa Olomo’s interior design manifestation provides a practical observation of how all creative deliverables from the Nigerian Artist cohort can be utilized and fixated in real time. Intentionally placed within Heritage House in Ikoyi, one of the most affluent neighborhoods of Lagos, Nigeria, Living Space Layout is a physical contemporary space with domestic elements that are drawn from the past. In curating this interior space, Olomo’s major focus deciphering how materiality and elements of time and place can enhance human cognitive stimulation through variations of pro-African functuay. The use of locally sourced materials is a core aspect of Indigenous architecture. Therefore, Olomo’s Living Space Layout is certainly respected in this regard.
KMLT is a cot and a stool designed for and inspired by todays Nigerian mother. KMLT is an adaptable and user friendly solution to the problem of mothers typically without a safe and affordable space for their newborns to sleep, the common practice is for the child to sleep on the bed with the parents which is dangerous and one of the leading causes of early infant death. KMLT is a hybrid concept that provides a safe and comfortable space for a baby in the first three to five months to sleep on a soft leather covered foam surrounded by raffia. The removable mattress in cot-mode becomes a comfortable seat for a mother to feed her child when placed upside down in stool-mode, as well as a growing child to sit and use as storage. The use of Indigenous materials and methods in the production of the KMLT cot marks its identity as afro-futuristic.
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