Peju Ala­tise

Po­etry and pol­i­tics

The Africa Report - - ART & LIFE -

Fly­ing Girls (pic­tured), Peju Ala­tise’s soar­ing in­stal­la­tion of eight winged life-size girls, cov­ers a sec­tion of the first-floor space from floor to ceil­ing. Based on her short story about a 10-year-old girl who works as a house­maid in La­gos but dreams of a realm where she is free and can fly, the work is im­me­di­ately evoca­tive and elic­its sym­pa­thy for the girls. Moved by the piece, some guests at the open­ing were brought to tears. Since her ar­rival on the Nige­rian art scene more than 13 years ago, the mixed-medium artist has used her work to cham­pion so­cial, po­lit­i­cal and gen­der is­sues. All of this cul­mi­nated in her se­lec­tion as the 2016 fel­low at the Smith­so­nian In­sti­tu­tion’s Na­tional Mu­seum of African Art, where she ex­plored the an­ces­try and per­for­mance of a Yoruba mas­quer­ade. Ala­tise, whose back­ground is in ar­chi­tec­ture, is also a poet and au­thor of two nov­els. In 2013 she com­bined the visual ex­pe­ri­ence of sculp­tural in­stal­la­tions with short sto­ries for her ex­per­i­men­tal ex­hi­bi­tion Wrap­ture at the Eko Ho­tel & Suites in La­gos. Ala­tise’s work is de­lib­er­ate. When she de­buted at the 1:54 art fair in 2014 she did so with a piece that once again evoked a strong reaction from view­ers: Miss­ing fea­tured the sil­hou­ettes of some of the 234 girls kid­napped by Boko Haram in the same year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Botswana

© PressReader. All rights reserved.