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685 Westminster Ave (Sherbrook Inn), Winnipeg, Manitoba
8 x 8 ft
Synonym Art Consulting and Rylaan Gimby
Artist Capacity Building
My artworks and process reflect how I stay in touch with my culture in a foreign country and show the influence of my environment. Efemena means my wealth in Urhobo and Efe means wealth. The lions in this piece are used to symbolize power and authority.
I love listening and dancing to music, especially afrobeat, which is why I included West African instruments. Since instruments cannot play by themselves, I put the children to play them. The instrument on the left is called a shekere, while the instrument on the right is called a talking drum. These instruments originated from West Africa and are popularly used in my home country, Nigeria. The talking drum offers a form of communication through music and was most times used to pass on information or make an announcement.
The cloth he is wearing is a representation of the Isi Agu (lion’s head) cloth which are mostly worn by Igbo people from the south eastern part of Nigeria. The red coral beads were mostly worn by Benin royalty or on important occasions like weddings. They also signify power, dominance, and hierarchy. I drew the African continent on the globe with the idea of it being a treasure map that foreigners keep trying to steal from or are actively stealing from and how we should be in full control of our resources. The ground is a remembrance of the red clay which has a lot of uses like pottery, sculpting, or building.
During my process I discovered that an Afro does not have to be a perfect circle or oval shape for it to be considered an Afro so I experimented in styling it in different shapes. The staff is a representation of black power movement. Through this piece I want to remind people how wealthy we Africans are. We are intelligent, resourceful, powerful, and most importantly rich in culture.