Pippy Houldsworth Gallery presents “Parables of Joy,” a first independent exhibition by Nigerian-born artist Nengi Omuku open through July 30, 2022.
Using oil paint on sanyan, artist Nengi Omuku‘s work questions vagueness and liminality by focusing on inner mental spaces and how they manifest in the real world: different bodies depict an actual delivery of the complex psyche.
Creating ethereal situations of constantly changing otherworldly figures, their appearances are intentionally obscured, becoming silent featureless spectators whose gaze actually seems to penetrate the viewer.
Through “Parables of Joy“, Nengi Omuku opposes singularity and instead embraces global insight, repeating the melody of Greek theater. In her investigation of the complexities of her social heritage, race, and personality, Nengi Omuku frequently relies on current and recorded images from the Nigerian press and media.
Groomed as a flower seller and horticulturist by her mother, Nengi Omuku is driven by organic science. Due to the last two years of irregular interruptions during the global pandemic, these works attempt to reconnect with the regular world. Approaching the non-literal and conceptual, Nengi Omuku presents spaces in which the differentiation between bodies and nature is often obscured, considering the complexities of exploring a place and existing in a place.
This reflection is also explored through her use of materials – Nengi Omuku sews together pieces of sanyan, frequently consolidating them with comparative examples before beginning to apply layers of oil paint to the reverse.
The polarity of the unpredictably woven and carefully planned materials, coupled with the softness of the oil paint, brings out the life between societies while feeling deeply associated with her home nation.