Ndidi Emefiele, Untitled I, 2016, Mixed media on canvas, 120 x 100 cm / 47 x 39 in, Courtesy Rosenfeld Porcini
Ndidi Emefiele, Untitled I, 2016, Mixed media on canvas, 120 x 100 cm / 47 x 39 in, Courtesy Rosenfeld Porcini  

In her distinctive style, Ndidi Emefiele’s work engages with the notion of gender as a social construct. She adopts a critical approach to societal constructions of identity, dissecting clothing, postural language, and behavioral norms. Targeting popular imagery, Emefiele unpicks representations of masculinity and femininity as binary categories – arguing for co-occupancy of both genders in the body. These images form the basis for her characters, whose body language and dress embody a repertoire of identity notations prevalent in Nigeria – here deconstructed via Emefiele’s lens. A graduate of the Slade in London, Emefiele was awarded the Olive Prize in 2016. She has exhibited internationally including at the Gallery of African Arts, London (2016); the 22nd Pan African Film and Arts Festival, Los Angeles (2014); and Omenka Gallery, Lagos (2014). The University of South Africa, Cape Town and the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Lagos have both acquired her works, as have several private collections in Europe and the US.