As Nigerian women, we constantly find our lives and fundamental choices entangled in the web of gender stereotypes and roles. At home and in society at large, we are burdened with weighted expectations of who we ought to be as women. Thankfully, with the introduction of more safe spaces and honest conversations about our current realities, we have the ability to re-examine these systems that seek to dictate how we must live our lives.
Art has the uncanny ability to foster those environments of curiosity and re-examination. In spaces like these, we can celebrate and empower one another, while addressing issues of identity. By experiencing art made by us, about us and for us, we can expand our definitions of what it means to be women. At the same time, these spaces create an atmosphere for reassessing prejudice, while instilling in us a spirit of rebellion. This is why we can’t wait for SPLIT.
SPLIT is an International Women’s Month Art Exhibition, which will feature the works of seven female Nigerian contemporary artists: Ama Ejiogu, Blossom Oyeyipo, Chigozie Obi, Fiyin Koko, Roana Tella, Wami Aluko and Zida Kalu. The works they’ll be presenting at SPLIT are personal interpretations of this year’s International Women’s Month theme –- #breakthebias. These works will employ a variety of art styles, ranging from painting and digital art to mixed media and photography.
Curated by SABO Art Co-founder Sosa Omorogbe, SPLIT is brought to us by The Noire Experience in collaboration with A Whitespace and opens on the 6th of March at Untitled, 59 Raymond Njoku, Ikoyi, Lagos. The organisers of the exhibition have created it as a platform to foster an egalitarian approach to activism. It’ll also “promote the collective ownership of women’s advocacy for diversity, fairness and inclusivity in Nigerian society while celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.” In bringing the artists together, a symbol of unity is presented.
Art events like SPLIT are important for revolutionizing both art spaces and feminist spaces. They help bridge the gap in representation, not only by promoting the artists but by reconstructing past representations of women in art and in reality. Art has the power to transform the mind, in turn transforming society. By creating more artistic spaces, there is increased potential for sparking conversations and actions that can change the cultural attitude towards women’s existence. So make sure you mark the opening date on your calendar!