Arts & Culture
Upcoming Exhibition ‘The Way We Were’ by Oluwole Omofemi
- 5:30 pm
12 March 2020
Signature African Art | FREE
20 Davies Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 3DT
Entitled The Way We Were, the exhibition is a celebration of Afrocentric pride, as well as reflection on the post-colonial era. The British artist Claudette Johnson has talked of the ‘fiction of blackness’ that colonialism left in its wake and of the need for people to assert their identity through their own stories. Omofemi embraces this idea, focusing on the importance of hair amongst black communities.
While it has always been a signifier of status and identity, Omofemi looks back to recent history, to The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s and ‘70’s, and the natural hair movement. This encouraged black people to eschew European styles for Afros, a move that was championed by popular icons such as Jimi Hendrix and Diana Ross.
In Omofemi’s work, hair stands as a metaphor for freedom — indeed, sometimes it literally spills over the edge of the canvas, as with Root II; while in others, such as Omonalisa, it dominates the composition, becoming larger than the subject itself. Rendered in oil and acrylic, these paintings sometimes have simple primary coloured backgrounds, which lend them a vivid Pop Art sensibility; in others, a darker mood is created, referencing the works of the Old Masters.
The exhibition is open from March 12th – April 16th 2020.