Wura-Natasha Ogunji and Mary Onoŋokpono

A Masked Performance

50 Goldborne Gallery


Friday 12th June 2015


 Image Credit: Yvette Greslé

Image Credit: Yvette Greslé

I was enjoying a lazy summer evening when I received an email from a dear friend, Nigerian-American artist and Fulbright Scholar, Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze. In her email, Ruby introduced me to a friend, Nigerian-American artist and Guggenheim Fellow, Wura-Natasha Ogunji. Wura was shortly to unveil an exhibition entitled 'Statues Also Love,' at West London's 50 Goldborne gallery, and was seeking a collaborator. At the time I was researching West African masquerades, specifically the Ekpe and Egungun masquerades of the Efik and Yoruba peoples respectively. I was interested in exploring the concept of masking as a series of negotiations, both in historical and contemporary contexts. Wura was exploring the concept of masking as a negotiation of liminal space. She based the fabric masks on a drawing of Ruby's, entitled, 'that low hanging kind of sun.' The second component to the exhibition, entitled 'AND FIGHT,' comprised a masked performance with Wura-Natasha Ogunji and myself on the streets of Notting Hill. The piece was documented by writer and art historian, Yvette Greslé.