Ifeoma U. Anyaeji, Made in ‘Shina’, 2015, Repurposed non-biodegradable plastic bags (Plasto-yarns), twine, and repurposed found object, 60 x 15 x 72 inches (5 x 1.25 x 6 feet) / (152.4 x 38.1 x 182.88 cm). Courtesy of Primo Marella Gallery
Ifeoma U. Anyaeji, Made in ‘Shina’, 2015, Repurposed non-biodegradable plastic bags (Plasto-yarns), twine, and repurposed found object, 60 x 15 x 72 inches (5 x 1.25 x 6 feet) / (152.4 x 38.1 x 182.88 cm). Courtesy of Primo Marella Gallery 

Ifeoma U. Anyaeji is a Nigerian-based artist, born in Benin City but from the Southeastern (Igbo speaking) part of the country. Growing up in a society fueled by the dualities of excesses and repression, where art was yet to be accepted as a “decent” profession, Ifeoma decided to take-up art as a full-time career exploring her boundaries, as a female artist beyond the conventions of her initial academic training in painting.

She later went on to pursue her earlier interest in sculpture and engaging further her passion for Up-cycling (the concept of repurposing discarded objects), an interest stimulated by the constant environmental problems she encountered around her community particularly from non-biodegradable plastic bags and bottles which were in abundance. While experimenting with these environmental pollutants, engaging possible processes of object remaking and reuse especially with non-conventional art making techniques and traditional craft processes, Anyaeji developed a style of upcycling she calls “Plasto-Art” – an eco-aesthetic process where she transforms her new primary medium, discarded non-biodegradable plastic bags, using her crafting skills in a receding traditional Nigerian hair plaiting technique called Threading*. With threading she creates three-dimensional forms, usually sculptures and installations that reference architectural forms, domestic spaces, furniture, and the human body. Ifeoma has had solo exhibitions with works in several collections in Africa, Europe and the US. Anyaeji also teaches at the University of Benin in Nigeria.