Sunday, April 02, 2006

Yemisi Ajayi

Nigeria-Arts website says"...Yemisi Ajayi has won a reputation as an innovative textile designer working within the realm of traditional Yoruba cloth and motifs. She is also a teacher of batik, adire (starch resist), dye method and Yoruba patchwork quilting.

A native of Lagos, with family roots in the Ijebu region of Nigeria, Yemisi began her career as a textile artist in 1986 in Oshogbo, where she studied with several of Nigeria's recognized textile artists. Striking out on her own in 1990, Yemisi has had broad success in the areas of quilting, fashion design, textile design, and interior decorating. She maintains a small workshop and collaborates widely with Nigeria's many talented visual artists.

To Yemisi, art is life. She first trained at Oshogo Art School and then received her Diploma in Creative Arts at the Centre for Cultural Studies at the University of Lagos. She started exhibiting her work in 1990, and in 1991 staged an exhibition at the Lagos Museum, which brought her national and international recognition. In 1993, she opened her own studio and shop.

In late 1995, Yemisi and a group of her friends started the Rainbow Women's Arts Association (RAWA). Explaining the organization's mission, she says, "I believe women are burdened with heavy responsibilities which prevent them from expressing themselves. We want to provide the opportunity for them to express themselves through the arts, and also gain some economic independence, which will help preserve that opportunity of expression." The organization is committed to providing a platform for women's artistic and creative growth, and to preserving the traditional textile arts of Nigeria and adapting them so they remain relevant to modern times..."

Photo courtesy of Nigeria-Arts

1 comment:

BAND Foundation said...

I met Yemisi through a friend in Lagos in 1993. I made many purchases from her including clothing, curtains and bed linens. Last night I changed my bedding and used one of her designs that I brought from her 19 years ago and the colors are still as vibrant as they were when I first made the purchase. She is a brilliantly talented artist.