Diana Ejaita 

Wilfred Ukpong

March 30-April 5, 2019

Omenka Gallery 

24 Ikoyi Crescent 

Ikoyi

The Arthouse Foundation is pleased to present its first residency exhibition of 2019, featuring artists-in-residence Diana Ejaita and Wilfred Ukpong.  

 

Diana Ejaita and Wilfred Ukpong have completed three-month artist residencies in Lagos with the Arthouse Foundation, where they were prompted to create new artistic projects that engaged the city of Lagos. 

 

Diana Ejaita is a Nigerian/Italian artist based in Berlin who works in illustration and textile design. During her residency, Diana Ejaita experimented with the silkscreening process to explore the legacy of Nigerian author Amos Tutuola. Inspired by the author’s stream of consciousness style and narrative patterns, Diana explores the conversation between texts, images and objects. 

 

Ejaita was intrigued by the author’s unique way of breaking down and recomposing classical myths, and she mirrors this in her artistic process, combining together a stream of diverse forms in her print series. She also creates sculptures that elaborate on these elusive figurations. Ejaita also presents a short film based on Tutuola’s celebrated book, The Palm Wine Drinkard, questioning the roles given to women in his narratives. Combining print, sculpture and video, Ejaita presents a contemporary vision of Tutuola’s iconic and surreal take on traditional mythology.

 

Wilfred Ukpong is a French-Nigerian artist based in Oxford, UK, who works between photography, film, sculpture, installation and performance. Since 2011, he has developed a long term project in the Niger Delta that explores the environmental concerns of the oil and gas industry through film and community intervention. In Lagos, Wilfred has created another chapter in this ten-part Blazing Century project, which are set within geographical locations embroiled in social and environmental conflicts and filtered through a fictional and futuristic lens. 

 

BC-2: Agents of Resistance explores contextual issues facing Makoko, the floating community located on the coast of the Lagos mainland, which is under constant threat of eviction and demolition. Incorporating photography, sculpture, film and sound installation, Ukpong creates a speculative dimension of Makoko that imagines alternative narratives of the future through the metaphors of resistance and resilience. The project draws on the communal histories of found objects and was created with the participation of the local youth as collaborators and subjects. 

Diana Ejaita works in a variety of mediums including print, painting, sculpture, video and textile design. She received a BA at “Rennes 2” Fine Art University in Rennes, France, and a Masters at Fine Art University “HBK” in Braunschweig, Germany. In 2017, Diana Ejaita completed an artist residency at Waaw in St. Louis, Senegal. Her work was included in the Festival of Contemporary Art in St. Louis, Senegal. In 2018, Ejaita collaborated with Emeka Ogboh on a project for Monopol Magazine on “Berlin Post Colonial”. Her work was selected as one of six illustrators for the #ZeroHunger campaign for FAO at the United Nations in Rome. Her illustrations have been included in publications in London, Berlin, Zurich, Cape Town, and USA. 

 

Wilfred Ukpong is an interdisciplinary artist who incorporates a studio-based artistic practice with connective social engagement, tackling pertinent social issues with community participation and intervention. His long term project in the Niger-Delta, Blazing Century 1, received a special grant from the Prince Claus Fund and has been exhibited in international group shows in London, Lorient and the Hague. His film Future World won the Golden City Gates Excellence Award at ITB Berlin in 2018. The film has also been screened at Mash Johannesburg and David Krut Projects, as well as to the Senate of Nigeria in order to encourage a dialogue about environmental change in the Niger Delta. Ukpong is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Oxford Brookes University, and he received his BA and Masters Degree from Ecole Supérieure d’Art Lorient, France.

This exhibition is generously supported by Sony Centre.