A solo exhibition of artworks by Peju Layiwola, a Professor of Art History and the current Head of the Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos, opens tomorrow at J.K Ade Ajayi Auditorium Gallery (Main Auditorium) University of Lagos.
The exhibition, which is titled “Indigo Reimagined”, will run till 30th of July. The show highlights the multidimensionality of dyeing fabrics whilst simultaneously providing us with a window into the beauty and functions of other indigenous crafts like pottery and metal work associated with dyeing. “These installations are not limited to the dyed textile as a site of adornment and signification. Instead, they redirect our gaze at the very process of ‘art as art’ in their own right; in a sense, the process, methodology and labour of making art is itself conceived of as art. This conceptual, yet tactical, engagement with cloth compels the viewer to look at the often neglected but important aspects involved in the process of this long-standing tradition of indigo dyeing.” The exhibition stands as a reflection of modern urban culture in the introduction of new themes, techniques, and materials. It ultimately challenges the viewer to see cloth in its multiple socio-cultural and political dimensions.
Prof. Layiwola earned her BA in 1988 at the University of Benin, Benin City; an MA and Ph.D. in Art History at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 1991 and 2004 respectively. She follows her mother, Princess Elizabeth Olowu-daughter of Oba Akenzua II of Benin in a career as an artist, adding art history to the mix. Layiwola’s work, in a variety of media ranging from metalwork and pottery to textile and sculpture, addresses diverse strains of the postcolonial condition. She focuses on personal and communal histories which centralize Benin as both an ancient kingdom and a contemporary city. In Layiwola’s teaching, writing, and art, there is continuous engagement with themes of artifact pillage, repatriation and restitution, history, memory, gender the continually mutable processes of production.
This exhibition brings together her overall experience and engagement with cloth in both research and studio experience working with youth in her Centre for arts and craft.
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