‘The Company She Keeps’, a group exhibition featuring five female artists who work internationally, opened on Saturday, May 28, at Tiwani Contemporary, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Ongoing till August 13, the show features diverse and exciting works by Chioma Ebinama, Miranda Forrester, Temitayo Ogunbiyi, Nengi Omuku and Charmaine Watkiss.
Materially and collectively, their works draw attention to intimacy, reparative approaches, and labour valorisation.
Ebinama (US/NI) is based in Athens, Greece. She engages with animist mythologies and non-western philosophies. She conceptualises her interpretations as drawn and watercolour compositions on rag paper. She’s showing her suspended circular painting, ‘The Bride 2’ (2022), inspired by a scene of the matrimonial rite, as featured in Chinua Achebe’s 1958 classic novel, ‘Things Fall Apart.’ This will be presented with the audio piece, ‘Prayer for when fear strikes at dawn’ (2022).
London-based Forrester (UK) shows two large-scale works in ‘The Company She Keeps’. The diptych ‘Give Me All of You’ (2021) and two selected works from ‘Introspection I-IV’ (2022) an installation that incorporates a hand-painted mural and paintings using oil, gloss and image transfer on transparent polycarbonate panels.
The installation centres on an abstracted interplay of domesticity and interiority, structured by the gazes and intimacies shared between women.
Ogunbiyi (NI/US/JA) is a Lagos-based artist and curator interested in how commerce, architecture, history and botanical cultures inform the interactions and gestures that inscribe public and private space. Working across the disciplines of painting, drawing and sculpture, she presents, ‘You will labour to find value anew’ (Sweet Mother, Mama Ibadan) (2022), honouring women’s dexterity and labour.
Lagos-based Omuku will present ‘Candyscape’ (2022), which adapts her interests in the politico-cultural representations of the figurative body to comprehend the psychotherapeutic impact of landscape on the psyche.
Continuing her signature use of silk Sanyan fabric, ‘Candyscape’ is a large-scale oil painting that momentarily suggests a retreat for the body to harness the restorative power of real and ideated landscapes.
Watkiss’ (UK) suite of new drawings, ‘Àse’ (2022), brings her matrilineal deities to Nigeria. These ‘plant warriors’ are the human and spiritual embodiment of medicinal plants and seeds dispersed to the new worlds from West Africa via the transatlantic trade between the 16th and 19th centuries. The deities’ journey is a custodial and reparative rite ceremoniously reminding what flora was taken.
Tiwani Contemporary, Lagos, is owned by Maria Varnava. The space in the Centre of Excellence is its second outside of London, UK, where it is registered.