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Marcellina Akpojotor debuts in the UK with a solo exhibition at Rele London

Joy of More Worlds  | Rele London, United Kingdom


Marcellina Akpojotor's Joy of More Worlds continues her exploration of generational legacy and archival evolution, tracing her maternal bloodline to capture the essence of contemporary African women, empowering narratives of motherhood, and familial connections through intricately collaged paintings. 


Delving into the domestic sphere, Akpojotor's large-scale paintings densely collage the Ankara fabric to delicately display intimate celebrations of memories of daily life, bridging the past and present. Her meticulous transformation of Ankara fabric - a powerful marker of African identity - onto canvases, challenges visual norms while honouring her Nigerian heritage, offering viewers a poignant testament to the beauty of everyday moments and the enduring influence of the textile fabric.



Credit: 5. Ibrahim Mahama, Purple Hibiscus, 2023-24. Courtesy Ibrahim Mahama, Red Clay Tamale, Barbican Centre, London and White Cube
Credit: Ibrahim Mahama, Purple Hibiscus, 2023-24. Courtesy Ibrahim Mahama, Red Clay Tamale, Barbican Centre, London

Akpojotor meticulously transforms the Ankara fabric into an abstract language on canvas, bridging the past and the contemporary. The material, used for daily wear in Nigerian society, serves as a cultural signifier and a conduit for memory. Choosing to use offcuts of Ankara, a powerful marker of African identity, speaks to Akpojotor’s belief in the medium of the cloth for telling private family histories. The paintings coupled with the textile collage not only create a strong visual impact against the paint but more importantly, function as a key element in Akpojotor’s strategy to challenge visual language and pay tribute to the legacies of influential people in her life.



Marcellina Akpojotor, Diatacheko's Parlour, Fabric & Acrylic on Canvas, 76 x 101.8 inches, 2023 - 2024.jpg.jpg
Marcellina Akpojotor, Diatacheko's Parlour, Fabric & Acrylic on Canvas, 76 x 101.8 inches, 2023 - 2024.jpg.jpg


Akpojotor explains, In my artistic process, there's no staged setup; instead, I seize moments of joy and weave textiles, acrylics, and other materials onto the canvas. I create collages that reflect layers of meaning and emotion woven into their fabric. I want my audience to delve deeper into the essence of human experience. My first solo exhibition in London represents a significant milestone in my artistic journey. It's not just about showcasing my work, but also about sharing my story, my culture, and

my vision as an artist. The exhibition is accompanied by a monograph co-published by Rele Gallery and Skira.


Location: Rele Gallery, London (5-7 Dover Street)

Dates: 11 April – 18 May, 2024

Opening Reception: 11 April (6 - 8 pm)


For More information, visit Rele Gallery

 

ABOUT MARCELLINA AKPOJOTOR


Marcellina Akpojotor (b.1989, Lagos) is known for her captivating exploration of femininity, cultural identity, and empowerment through her vibrant and layered collage artworks. She was first introduced to visual arts by her father, who worked as a sign maker and went on to study Art and Industrial Design at Lagos State Polytechnic in 2012. She received a BA from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in Fine and Applied Arts, in 2019.


Akpojotor was selected to be part of the Rele Arts Foundation Young Contemporaries exhibition in 2017 and was awarded the Ronke Ekwensi Salon fellowship following her

profile in the publication The Art of Nigerian Women by Ben Bosah. Akpojotor held her first solo exhibition She Was Not Dreaming at Rele Gallery, Lagos in 2018 and her second exhibition Daughters of Esan: The Alpha Generation in 2021 at Rele Gallery, Los Angeles.


Akpojotor has taken part in selected group exhibitions including: The Flower Show, (2023), L.A. Louver Gallery, Los Angeles; Narrative as Reality: Constructing an Identity, (2023) Martin Museum of Art, Texas; Project Genesis. Art and Human Rights, (2023) Triennale Milano, Milan, Italy; From Lagos To Seoul, (2022) VODA gallery, Seoul, Korea; Orita Meta, (2021), Rele Gallery, Los Angeles, BLACK VOICES: Friend of My Mind, (2020),Ross Sutton Gallery, New York and Sisters: The Art of Nigerian Women (2018) at CarnegieGallery, Ohio. She has also participated in prominent art fairs across the world including a solo booth at Art Basel Miami Beach (2021), Art Dubai (2020) LA Art Show (2020) and the FNB Art Joburg (2019). She has been featured in CNN, The New York Times and We Present amongst other publications.

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Marcellina Akpojotor debuts in the UK with a solo exhibition at Rele London

April 13, 2024

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