Work

Green Leaf Barrel (2014)

GreenLeafBarrel
  • Materials: Steel, Perspex, oil barrel
  • Dimensions: 190cm x 163cm x 143cm
  • Housed: Artist's studio in London
  • I am very conscious that my home in Niger Delta is in a very bad place at the moment because of pollution and lack of employment. I work hard, thinking of positive things that could happen – I feel that the negatives are so big that if we talk about them all the time we will have nothing to look forward to. Funnily enough , this brings out humour in the work I make.

    William Blake has a drawing of a figure that looks as if it is creating the world; Urizen- I like this drawing . I love poses done with hands and bodies by rap stars and foot ballers. Far from Blake but not so far. Anyway my’ god’ is a woman, she is creating growth from a split oil barrel, Her lower half is covered by smurf pattern. I did not want to go down the path of ‘ African’ material.

    There was an article in the times newspaper of a roman sculpture that had been found off the coast of Gaza, a fisher man found it caught in his net and got his friends to use their boats to drag it to the beach. When they finally got it onto dry land, some cultural police came along and said the sculpture was against Islam and then some other police came along and said it should not be seen by anyone because it was an abomination. There was a little photograph of this sculpture and it was resting on a mattress which had a pattern of the Smurfs.

    Very often when you see tragedy or something very serious there is a commercial light thing in the same picture. People in temporary housing with a Mickey mouse poster keeping their shelter intact. A fierce Taliban fighter hiding his identity with a picture of Britney hanging off a wall…..

Hibiscus Kiss (Heart) (2014)

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  • Materials: Steel, acrylic paint, metal drawing
  • Dimensions: 76.5cm x 60cm x 7cm
  • Housed: Artist's studio in London

Kissss Me (2014)

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  • Materials: Stainless steel, Perspex, car paint
  • Dimensions: 114cm x 91cm x 44cm
  • Housed: Artist's studio in London
  • Kissss me came about because I spent a summer holiday with my girls in Italy and I was kissed and loved by them both! They were sporting bright red and livid pink lipsticks and were lovely to watch. I wanted to catch this happiness.

All that Glitters (2013)

AllThatGlitters
  • Materials: Steel oil barrels and gold leaf
  • Dimensions: 284 cm x 190 cm x 123 cm
  • Housed: Artist's studio in London
  • I was not sure what sort of title to give this piece ‘ All that glitters …pretending.’ I wanted to continue making works like ‘Jesus loves me’ figures in Hip-hop and R&B poses. I came across a photograph of an east London Asian boy with his arms folded and his legs in a splits position in a church door way and I thought it was so striking. Full of bravado and also history in that it could be a pose from some traditional religion but the person performing it was in jeans with his T-shirt off, twisted into his pocket.

    Anyway I love the ‘balls’ of successful Nigerians and the theme of showing off seemed like a good idea for this work to follow. The glittering woman is not only glittering she is showing off being invincible, astride sliced oil barrels. Cool. And a little funny. Could this be a description of Nigeria at this time? I am trying to look at the positives in life.

Looking for Grace (2013)

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  • Materials: Nickel-coated steel
  • Dimensions: 201cm x 119 cm x 73 cm
  • Housed: Artist's studio in London
  • This sculpture features Victorian influenced clothing in Namibia, the hands are saluting or surrendering to the viewer is so intriguing. Pattern making and posing is an important element of this work, because the Herero people were forced into wearing this form of clothing. But they made it their own by adding head wear that is fashioned into the form of cow horns, something that they admire. ‘Looking for grace’ faces the viewer with the history and culture of Namibian people. The artist has used this pose in the search for the sublime.

All the World is Now Richer – Great hall (2012)

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  • Materials: Steel
  • Dimensions: 216 cm x 560 cm x 118 cm
  • Housed: Looking for a permanent home in London
  • Proposal to show in the Great Hall

    ‘All the World is now Richer’ is a sculpture to commemorate the abolition of slavery. The sculpture hopes to show that the people of slave heritage are brave and have dignity and strength.

    The vertical component consists of a line of life- sized figures representing successive stages of the slavery saga. Thus the line starts with a figure clad in indigenous robes. Then come two figures representing trans-Atlantic slave labour: a plantation worker with a machete and a domestic serving woman. These are followed by three figures representing the post- liberation era: a Sierra Leonean woman in nineteenth –century Creole dress, a man in a twentieth century executive suit and finally another relaxing in casual trousers and a tee-shirt.

    The literal component consists of phrases referring to the stage in the saga represented by its corresponding figure.

    A chance to show these figures in the Great Hall at the Houses of Parliament, during President Obama’s visit, would show the role the Houses of Parliament have played through world history.

    This sculpture has been exhibited in the House of Commons, Bristol Cathedral, Norfolk Cathedral, and St Paul’s Cathedral. It toured from 2010-2014.

    Here is a film featuring this project:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bP670ylRhzg

All the World is Now Richer – Memorial Proposal (2012)

alltheworld001

    How do you show that the people of slave heritage are brave and have dignity and strength? How do you show the social and economic legacy that has benefited the world from their suffering? My piece is marked by mutually complementary vertical and horizontal components. The vertical component consists of a line of life- sized figures representing successive stages of the slavery saga. Thus the line starts with a figure clad in indigenous robes. Then come two figures representing trans-Atlantic slave labour: a plantation worker with a machete and a domestic serving woman. These are followed by three figures representing the post- liberation era: a Sierra Leonean woman in nineteenth –century Creole dress, a man in a twentieth century executive suit and finally another relaxing in casual trousers and a tee-shirt. The horizontal component consists of a series of sculpted “shadows” thrown out to the right from the successive figures. Each “shadow” is a strip containing a phrase referring to the stage in the saga represented by its corresponding figure. “From our rich ancestral life” “We were sold, bought and used” “But we were brave” “We were strong” “We survived” “All the world is now richer” The piece is arranged, on the one hand so that the viewers can walk around its perimeter and grasp the saga as a whole ,on the other so that in threading their way back and forth between the figures- and “ shadows” , they can take in its stages more slowly ,closely and reflectively. Materials Materials and fixings have been chosen for their long life robustness and high quality. The figures will be cast in bronze. The words will be cast in cast-iron and fixed to the Portland stone paving. The piece will be discreetly lit and set into a landscape garden.

Afro Rock (2011)

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  • Materials: Steel, Perspex
  • Dimensions: 66cm x 53cm x 41cm
  • Housed: Held by artist

Purge: Head (2011)

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  • Materials: Steel, Perspex
  • Dimensions: 65 cm x46 cm x 52 cm
  • Housed: Held by artist

Purge: Man (2011)

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  • Materials: Steel, oil drum
  • Dimensions: 252cm x 161cm x 98cm
  • Housed: Held by artist

Purge: Woman (2011)

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  • Materials: Steel, oil drum
  • Dimensions: 257.5cm x 76cm x 87cm
  • Housed: Held by artist

The Finger (2011)

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  • Materials: Steel, beads, tin cans, silk thread
  • Dimensions: 150cm x 56cm x 44cm
  • Housed: Held by artist

Waka Shege (2011)

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  • Materials: Steel, tin cans, feathers, plastic
  • Dimensions: 155cm x 60cm x 54cm
  • Housed: Held by artist
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