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Mitochondria set to present Awodiya’s Legacy

By Tobi Awodipe
13 October 2021   |   2:40 am
Rising Nigerian contemporary artist, Toluwani Awodiya, is looking to celebrate and exalt black women with his latest work titled Legacy. Featuring 10 works from the artist

Rising Nigerian contemporary artist, Toluwani Awodiya, is looking to celebrate and exalt black women with his latest work titled Legacy. Featuring 10 works from the artist, it features paintings of black women from the Victorian era, a category of people rarely illustrated.

Curated by Mitochondria Gallery that specialises in artworks from emerging and established artists from all over Africa and the African diaspora; Gallery principal, Timi Etebu told The Guardian that their mission is to educate and expand public awareness of contemporary art from Africa.

He added that they selected the theme of black women from the Victorian era as a concept for exploration and to show the imagery of black women in that era is almost non-existent.

“Toluwani was chosen as the artist to bring this concept to life due to his past works that celebrate the essence of the black woman, which is the focal point of Legacy. Both parties worked for months to create and bring to fruition various images that are presented in this exhibition. Legacy links the past, present, and future through artistic expression. The visuals of this exhibition depict this set of women in that era, a time period where images of black women are often overlooked and excluded in documented history. The exhibition celebrates these women for their intelligence, strength, beauty and much more through artistic expression.

“Awodiya portrays these figures of our past using figurative expressionism paintings, built on the plethora of layered motifs he creates on canvas. These motifs comprise syllabograms, pictograms and logograms, some of which are of historical significance that were used in communication within groups of West African cultures.

This show is honouring the legacies of those who came before us as we presently build our legacies for those to follow. We take the lessons of our past; apply them to the present, because one day we will be the ancestors. Our stories today will one day be, the stories of the past.

Legacy Opens October 15 from 5:00 pm and the virtual exhibition will be available to the public on the gallery’s website.