My name is Yoma Emore and I am a Nigerian artist.
I make paintings using African wax print cloths. The cloths, widely known as Dutch wax, or locally as Ankara, are characterised by their vivid colours and bold patterns, and have come to be associated with West African, notably Nigerian cultural identities.
They originated from Javanese batik prints which are hand drawn motifs on cotton cloth made with the use of wax and resist-dye. The process was later imitated by Dutch merchants who mass produced the cloth. Later introduced into West African markets, these prints have been integrated into the different cultures as a means of self-expression. The designs and motifs on the cloth were given names, and proverbs / stories were associated with them. The paintings that I make hence, reflect the colourfulness of the cloth and its intricate designs as well as its rich history.
My recent works, like the series Ceci N’est Pas L’Afrique (2017), explore, through texts, the origins of the cloth and the prosperity of the fabric as a result of colonialism. The texts have been printed onto different fabrics, then stretched on wooden frames.
In May 2017, I was awarded the Worcestershire County Council Art Award, during my degree show at the University of Worcester, England and was also nominated for the Boffy Art Award.