Loud: Ndidi Emefiele’s first solo exhibition in London

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What does it mean to be a Black Woman today? And what is expected of a Black Woman today? These questions may lend themselves to a multitude of tentative answers. Over at the Rosenfeld Porcini gallery, the Artist Ndidi Emefiele is exploring these questions and offering an emphatic answer in her latest series of work: Loud.

'Loud' Exhibition by Ndidi Emefiele
‘Loud’ Exhibition by Ndidi Emefiele

Women are at the heart of Emefiele’s work. Her striking paintings feature women with oversized heads who wear, most of the time, extravagant pairs of glasses made of disks and other recycled materials.

Back in 2015, at the 1:54 Contemporary Art Fair in London, Emefiele’s women appeared in close up portraits, solemnly gazing at the public, strong and defiant.

In 2017, these women have let go of formality, moved out of the studio where their portraits were made and into the city where they go about their daily lives. In the various paintings, the women that inhabit Emefiele’s world appear at times thoughtful, playful, asleep or ready for a swim. Yet, all these multifaceted women are cut from the same cloth. Each one of them oozes strength and confidence. Together, they present vivid images of non-conformity. They are actively rebelling against a society that is issuing a never-ending list of prohibitions “no loud noises, no animal”.

Although Emefiele references her native Nigeria in her paintings, there is a universal resonance to the questions she raises around women’s identities and the space they occupy in society.

Ndidi Emefiele’s first solo exhibition ‘Loud’ continues at the Rosenfeld Porcini Gallery until July 15th. 

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