Monday, November 24, 2014


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Thank you for joining me for a successful opening of Hairvolution on the 8th of November and I appreciate everyone who has made time to visit the exhibition so far.
As the exhibition draws to a close this week Saturday, join me for an


Date: Thursday 27 November
Time: 6 pm
Venue: The Whitespace
58 Raymond Njoku street off Awolowo way Ikoyi Lagos

Installation shot "Hairvolution"
I will speak on my artistic process, my journey into art and more importantly on the project "Hairvolution" its origin, process and the future of this project as it evolves.

About Taiye Idahor

Taiye Idahor grew up in Lagos Nigeria, she studied Fine Art at the Prestigious Yaba College of technology Lagos Nigeria where she graduated in 2007 with a Higher National Diploma (HND) after specialising in sculpture in her final years at the college.
In the last four years Taiye Idahor has worked significantly within the concept of identity and women. 
She also works part time with the Centre for Contemporary Art Lagos Nigeria.
She has participated in a number of exhibitions and workshops both home and abroad.

Hairvolution continues till Saturday 29th November 2014

Whitespace Gallery is open Monday- Friday 10am -6pm daily: Saturday from 11am : Closed on Sunday

I look forward to seeing you on Thursday!!

In other NEWS

Whose Centinary?

I would be participating in a Collaborative Project curated by InĂªs Valle with Peju Layiwola (project initiator), Jude Anogwih, Jelili Atiku, Victor Ehikhamenor, Andrew Esiebo, Elizabeth Olowu, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, George Osodi and Jumoke Verissimo called " Whose Centenary".

I am particularly happy about this project as it will be the first time I will be showing in my hometown. Benin City will be the location of the first exhibition of the project Whose Centenary? on the 6th and 7th of December 2014, featuring nine accomplished artists from Nigeria. The project is a critical analysis of significant historical aspects of Nigerian social, political and cultural memory, with a particular emphasis on 1914. The exhibition will explore themes around the centennial commemoration of the amalgamation of the northern and southern regions of Nigeria and the multi-layered nature and prevalent results of colonialism in Nigeria in the primordial space of Benin.
Click here to learn more on this project.

Have a great week!

Copyright © 2014 Taiye Idahor, All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

In search of Ayie...

Hello there,

It's been hectic yet at the same time I it has been great fun preparing for my solo show and I am really excited about the show, I am in the middle of setting up and so far, the works look great just being able to them all at the same time. I have a small studio and it has been quite impossible to see more than two or three works at the same time. I also decided to include my " I am not my hair" installation, last minute decision but it looks good, and after all, its a continuation of that work in a way. I look forward to seeing you between Saturday 8 November and 28 November. Here is another recording, I really feel the need to have them here so you can understand me and my work. An artist statement can only summarize them please read statement here, please read if you can. Thank you.

Hey did I ever mention I was a twin? That's us below.

Taiye and Kehinde

21:06 April 20 2014
The overall or the most obvious reaction is on identity beginning from a conscious search for an identity that has been pretty unknown for a long time. In search of Ayie...
where ar u from
where are you from
where are you from
where are you from
where are you from.

This question is ringing in my head all the time.
Questioning my father was like hitting a brick wall, and how history gets lost so easily and its sad basically everything lies with a man who died in 1972, i really want to subsume this woman but how do I do this when I have nothing, I stare at my blank canvas and knowing you know nothing does give room for many possibilities but at the same time it's a risk.

As the project grows I thought I might explore the idea of multiplicity in order words reincarnation, do i believe it, no. I don’t have a strong understanding of it that's why but why did I decide to use it? I do not believe in it, but my father does and I can’t change anything about that fact, I can’t tell him to stop saying it, hence I stand on the belief of what another says I am.

I am now a connection to his mother.
My hair is my connection to her.
Hence my picture is of her.
This way, I can fill in many gaps.

Using this, a tension has been created between her and me, how do I deal with this?
The process and time put in this work is more the art than the finished work. The audience may not see what I see, or what I feel and remember unlike me when we look at the works. I am Fixing time and memory unto a canvas.

Weaving hides, as many is hidden from me.

Why not the whole face? Its that tension that makes for that, using the whole image means I won, but I didn’t its still about her.

Where are you from?
They only ask because of my hair, what would my life be like without this hair?

The works I create are questions and made out of many series of questioning, black doesn’t mean... but black questions the emptiness, the fragilty of newsprint doesn’t mean... but questions the different the validity of the stories I have heard about Ayie. Everything on the canvas is made out of a question.

Working on a canvas and newsprint doesn’t mean... but I question the fragility of memory as time evolves.
Black- I started from a dark place of major uncertainty
Photos, photos in half, yes reincarnation but this isn't about me, tension begins, we come to an agreement, half of the face neither me or her.

But my friend visits and instantly recognizes me on the canvas, tension begins again, I wash and I rub and I brush away, did it help? You need a closer look. The image almost gets lost in the canvas, at night its lost, only in the light you see.

When I get the question where are you from, this is a question I put to Ayie too.
Location= maps

My father always had a map of Cyprus he always said she was from there, how or why that came about I don’t know. But my conversation with him assumes a different possibility. I wanted to use maps of Cyprus, I downloaded many to my computer, but the next conversation with my dad threw me off course and I began to doubt Cyprus. So I would imagine a place by drawing contours of a map from my mind while I re-live the conversations in my mind.

I kept my map reading text book from secondary school it was my bestest subject. I started to read about them again... Contours represent an actual place on ground, using contours as an idea, I create these lines and movements that represent an unknown place. The contour lines resemble veins...
The contour lines represents questions of - Where is she from?
The mirrored newsprint makes you understand the feeling of knowing something is there but you just cant make it out.
You can see something without understanding it but you know what it is,
Everytime I am in front the canvas I get lost in thought and I feel helpless as I do not know what I should do, I am very unsure and unclear and I would just sit and pace around for hours not knowing what to do, I made sketches though but the canvas was another space to conquer I struggled because I wanted to be sure on how to express nothingness, loss, if that is possible.

How many works have you made? They would ask – None
I made a sculpture marquee though, of two women one standing and the other sitting with hair larger and bigger than their form growing larger, a burden it seems
I look at them like I am not the artist and I see an identity crisis how do I say this...
I made the other sculpture I am not my hair and I see it as a continuation, weight and burden
I am not... I am not... I am not... I am not...
I am not Ayie!
Another level – the value women give to hair
Do I make sense at all

Sunday, November 2, 2014


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

You are cordially invited to the opening of my first solo exhibition,   

Finding Ayie 1 2014

Saturday 8 November 2014
Whitespace Gallery
58 Raymond Njoku street off Awolowo way Ikoyi Lagos
This project began through a simple but important question that I have been confronted with since I was a child, Is this your hair? This question is asked because my hair is black and wavy.
This perennial question has elicited a journey of self discovery of which the point of departure is a focus on my family history. It started with a series of meetings and conversations with my father and mother asking questions about Ayie, my paternal grandmother whose identity has remained elusive and from whom my hair characteristics seem to have originated.
As I reflect daily on the importance of my parent's memories, its fragility become increasingly more apparent. A change of location or death is no longer a criteria for a disappearing history as is the case with Ayie.

Join me on this quest.

Exhibition runs 8- 28 November 2014
WhiteSpace Gallery is open Monday- Friday 10am -6pm daily: Saturday from 11am : Closed on Sunday

For more inquiries about the exhibition or the artist send an email to 

I look forward to seeing you!!
Copyright © 2014 Taiye Idahor, All rights reserved.