|Chief (Mrs) Nike Okundaye and Chief Reuben Okundaye during the presentation of Living Blue at The Yaba Art Museum on Tuesday, June 2021. Pic: c/o of Yabatech.|
IN honour of Chief Dr. Nike Okundaye àt 70, The Yaba Art Museum is currently showing Living Blue, an Archival retrospective, which opened on June 29 2021 and ending August 13. The Yaba Art Museum, a facility at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, described Okundaye as a beacon of hope and help to many through her activities and expressions. The museum noted that In her 70 th year she continues to pursue activism and hospitality at the center of all that she does.
Excerpts from a statement by Yaba Art Museum: " This archive retrospective presentation on her life and practice is an extension of our advocacy on gender issues and youth development. This is particularly because of her heavy involvement with social justice for women and girls by promoting girls in the society and her efforts to educate and emancipate young girls out of mostly very dire situations stemming from her own experience. Her life and creative practice directly advocates against SHGBV and gender issues. Historically, Yoruba guilds of textile producers had dependence, supporting and defense characteristics of sororities. These characteristics play out in the expanse of Okundaye’s practice through her creative expressions and practice led activities
"Okundaye employs her interest, knowledge, exploration, preservation and promulgation of Yoruba culture as a mechanism for participatory intervention action in working with women and girls from different spheres and situations. This is the same also with young people.
"The Exhibition experience is envisioned to take a concept of displaying identity and exploration that exemplifies her as a champion of social justice with longstanding commitment to humanist principles for the youth and women in the Nigerian society. The presentation content in documenting life and human experience seeks to convey real and relatable experience in a selection of image documentation, videos, costumes, apparel, objects, documents, reviews and artworks such as drawings, paintings, textiles from the artist and her nucleus.
"Her engagements and practice sits at the intersection of visibility and activism that opposes the endemic nature of genre exclusion and oppression in a patriarchal society such as Nigeria. Her practice provides evidence of the use of art as a conduit to effect social change on the related issues by attending systemic oppression without being exploitative and voyeuristic."
The exhibit functions as an active research and resource space for communal learning in multiple capacities. This includes education on art as active intervention on social justice. It offers insight with a mix of art objects, relatable material, archive of interactions, community interaction and reciprocity in Okundaye’s trajectory over the years. This is through her world of embodiment, iconography, advocacy, intervention, pro-cultural knowledge and philanthropy that is the creative practice of Nike Monica Okundaye."