17 May - 4 June 2019
Bright Girls by artist, Nkechi Ebubedike.
A collage series that offers an alternative to the often-one-dimensional ways that we understand the coming-of-age experience of young African women.
Selected from a trove of archival photographs, as well as drawing from the artist's personal experience of living in a rural village in Nigeria as a young girl, the collages attempt to preserve and lend greater gravity to the loss of innocence in nascent adolescence with strength, and not naivety. Each piece is collaged onto indigo hand-dyed paper, which loosely references ancient West African indigo dye processes—a nod to the important preservation of lost traditional techniques.
The pieces attempt to elucidate how vital it is for young girls to preserve optimism under the weight of contemporary pressures. One may struggle to understand how they hold on to hope in their “desperate” conditions.
According to Nkechi, they smile without cues, they choose to find light.