I use textiles to create three-dimensional figurative collages. Drawing from my Nigerian heritage, I am influenced by women who use traditional clothing as a means of empowerment and to celebrate their womanhood. I use my work to tell stories and introduce new narratives of West African culture and experience.
As part of my practice, I also facilitate and produce art textile workshops to encourage collage, storytelling and community engagement. This is seen in my commission project ‘We Gather’ at the Craft Council, London, UK – where participants were encouraged to create a mixed media collage based on the artwork in the exhibition. Including the themes, skills and emotions embedded within the five craft practices. This concept of collaborative storytelling is becoming increasingly important in my practice, and it is my hope to continue to develop this way of working (and workshops) in future projects.
This piece was inspired by the support network between women in the creative industry. The group of intertwined figures in this piece were modelled on close ‘artist’ friends who have inspired me. Five figures were chosen intentionally to highlight the presence mirror the relevance of the five women taking part in the We Gather exhibition at the Craft Council, UK. The fabrics used to hand-stitched on top of the hand-drawn figures were donated by each of the subjects to weave further narrative into the artwork.
(*Enam Gbewonyo – Textile & Performance Artist, Sharon Walters – Collage Artist and Lesley Asare - Performance Artist)
‘We gather’ was an amazing exhibition, spreading the much-needed message of 'inclusion' within the arts and craft sector. I was so pleased to be showcasing amongst an outstanding group of female artists of colour. The intention with this artwork is to celebrate the female black expression in the arts, as we too have something to say and contribute. It’s important to get our point across, share our stories and give our perspective – Long may it continue!