So I went down to SOAS to check out the Uli exhibition curated by Chuu Krydz Ikwuemesi at the Brunei Gallery. Though there isn’t much promotion of this event I’d encourage as many of you to go down to the gallery and experience it in person. This is a very well curated display with multilayered, multidisciplinary mediums used to relay a post modernist example of traditional igbo art and beautification practices with a futuristic but also very present vision.
Here are some of my favourite pieces from the collection.
“Uli refers at once to different but related things. It is the name of the indigo dye obtained from several species of plants identified with various botanical names and used for drawing on the human body. Apart from describing the dye, the word, uli, also stands for the drawing made on the body or wall with the dye or pigment; and it is also the name of the art tradition in which the indigo dye or earth pigments were used. The word Uli equally functioned as an aesthetic determinant among the Igbo, referring to various nuances of beauty, intricacy and manifestation of design skill. Beyond its cosmetic and clinical possibilities, Uli also served as dress or clothing among some Igbo women folk in pre-contact times. Derived originally from the body painting technique, Uli wall painting is bolder and more vigorous.”– Chuu Krydz Ikwuemesi
2021, Mixed Media on Wood
Artists included: Eziafo Okaro; Roseline Chukwu; Lucy Iwegbu, Chinyere Odinukwe; Chijioke Onuora; George Odoh; Chuu Krydz Ikwuemesi; Rita Okafor; Nneka Odoh; Kenechukwu Udeaja; Chukwuemeka Akachukwu; Petrolina Ikwuemesi; Rita Doris Ubah; Iyke Okenyi and Chike Azuonye.
Forward to the Past re-engaging Uli in new Experiments
Curated & Edited by Chuu Krydz Ikwuemesi
Date 7 Oct 2022 – 10 Dec- 2022
Time 10:30 am to 5:00 pm
Venue SOAS Brunei Gallery