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Installation: Paint, Found Objects, Wood, Environmental on Plastic, Soft (Yarn, Cotton, Fabric), Wood, Other.
This installation was inspired by my mother whose cultural lifestyle is a product of colonial influences, or what I chose to refer to as colonial disorientation. The installation comments on the peculiarity of her cultural take on appearance and charisma... the definiation of lady-like - using the imagery of the Queen (Elizabeth II) as a go-to sample or model.
This installation is a biographical reference to my mother, whose dress routine merged colonial influences with
traditional Igbo fashion customs. The work mimics my mother’s constant blend of elaborate traditional
Nigerian hair-dos – a conspicuous, webbed hair-do constructed with small and gigantic strands of interwoven
threaded hair – with English outfits and fancy psychedelic heels. With a fascination for Queen Elizabeth II*,
my mother’s style opinion, in the 1970’s and 80’s, always cited the fashion elegance of the Queen as a
“proper” model for “decent” dressing – an emblematic beauty standard. Experiencing these routines were
integral to my almost pseudo-colonial mentality. However, this work is one of those moments when I pause to
reflect on my identity as a African and Nigerian woman, raised in a former British colony; from whom there is
this constant expectation to justify my cultural existence and renew its relevance in an ever-changing society,
while challenging the borderline line between newness and authenticity as well as what is consequential to be
*’Eliza’ is the Nigerian nickname for Elizabeth