‘I have always been an artist with two very distinct facets to my perception; the “expressive” side, and the “practical” side. These inclinations manifest constantly in my work. My “practical” side brings to bear a deep concern for feasibility and details. My “expressive” side allows me to delve into and engage with the world around me, exploring the aspects of human nature that hold my interest.
My work often explores subjects related to gender, power, and mythology. I work mainly in mixed media, often through labour intensive processes; the visual complexity of which serves as a physical embodiment of the nuances of my works’ themes. A lot of my work stems from a fascination with lines. I find it fascinating how this basic component of complex forms can be so ambiguously loaded with meaning. A line can connect and separate, enclose and exclude, direct and misdirect, all at the same time. I believe in creating art that ultimately stimulates conversation and encourages thoughtful considers both have the potential to influence and provoke one another. My work is committed to exploring that ageless relationship, with my personal experiences and observations serving as a conduit’
– Ayobola Kekere-Ekun
The Cultural Dysmorphia series seeks to explore the construct of culture and how women navigate the patriarchal space that is Nigeria, through a series of female portraits. The subjects are veiled and blinded as a comment on the Nigerian society’s tendencies towards an “eyes wide shut” approach to social and cultural problems. The fabrics used to veil and hide the women’s features are used as a visual representation of an inclination towards “collectivity” symbolised by the use of aso-ebi in the Nigerian society. Aso-ebi is a Yoruba term referring to the practice of selecting a fabric that becomes a “uniform” worn by families and friends during celebrations such as weddings, birthdays and funerals. The pieces draw on a range of experiences personal to the artist, from sexual harassment to the vilification of female sexuality and a hypocritical and harmful approach to the notion of culture.
The Power Series as the name implies explores the construct of power and power dynamics from three main perspectives; a contemporary perspective, a historical perspective, and a mythological perspective. The series seeks to interrogate how human beings deal with the presence and absence of power. It also seeks to highlight the complexities of power dynamics when filtered through a range of socio-cultural realities such as gender, wealth, sex, colonialism etc. Pieces from this body of work explore a range of topics from the erasure and trivialisation of female goddesses in Yoruba mythology, to the marked absence of female participation in Nigerian politics and the variables that fuel these realities.