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Ndidi Emefiele – Loud
Over the last nine months, the artist has been working on a new compelling body of mixed media works oncanvas that will be for the occasion unveiled across the gallery two-floors. The exhibition will also feature twolarge-scale paintings that testify to her increasing ambition. Drawing on cultural, gendered and personal references, Ndidi Emefiele creates layered figurative compositions that obsessively address female identity within contemporary Nigerian society. Yet her narrative has a far wider relevance. Emefiele’s vivid canvases embrace a vision of women as strong, self-reliant characters who exist in relation to each other in a universe where the male is only noticed by his total absence. The women who inhabit her works are in total command of whatever environment they are placed in. Their supremely confident postures display disdain for social norms and defiance for any behavioural patternsaimed at obtaining male consensus.
The strength of her narrative is given added force by her incorporation of textiles and traditional materials within the paintings. Through the integration of a plethora of witty visual references in the form of cut-outs and collaged elements, Emefiele braids together motifs of popular and personal symbolism. The recurring use of extravagant glasses, metal clock dials or CD’s covering the eyes of many of her characters, represents, for the artist, the sole defense women have as protection from the world.