Temitayo Ogunbiyi

b. 1984, United States / Nigeria

You will disembark safely at the top of the spiral, 2017
Pencil on paper

Text and image courtesy Project 31 gallery, France

From 2016, Ogunbiyi focused her practice on drawing, focusing on the mixing of shapes by inventing unexpected fusions between Nigerian hairstyles with geometric lines and botanical elements inspired by old botanical illustrations. Through the precision of the line and the organic development of forms, the work questions its multiculturalism and its diasporic heritage. With an intimate drawing mixing ethnological and botanical references, the artist tries to find a fragile balance between her personal history and the movements of History in the broadest sense.

The title of each work is a declarative prayer, beginning with ‘You will’, taking its structure from colloquial conversations had across Nigeria where prayer can be a confirmation of what is to come, rather than a request or plea. The forms referenced combine stories of transnational relationships that reflect generations of people journeying across lands and seas. These details inform a visual art practice that brings diverse references together to connect specific communities and questions divisive boundaries.