Ife Piankhi

Working as a performance artist, singer, poet, and creative facilitator for over 30 years, Ife transformed her craft into visual form through a textured, multi-media approach to papier-mâché and collage work, and the creation of bright and colorful mandalas. The material and spiritual elements embedded within Ife’s work create a semiotic grammar and visual language with symbols and metaphors that unfolds into a space for peace, calm, and healing.

The materials such as beads, shells, palm leaves and seed pods symbolically illustrate ancient history, being taken from natural surroundings. The papier-mâché panels infused with cassava flour  denote the passage of time through their gradual decomposition. This process also critically engages with the debates around maintenance of art, the legacy of an artist’s work, and the temporality of embedded meaning on objects. The process of creation, engagement, and deterioration of the work represents a cycle from a traumatic past and healing for the future.

During her residency, Ife also engaged the public in two community conversations which centred around communal identity-building and the effects of forced and voluntary migration. Her exhibition To Be or Not 2B?, which was staged outdoors also opened KLA ART Labs 017.