During the month of February, OCAD U celebrates the achievements and contributions made by Black Canadians now and throughout history. In our social media channels we’re featuring work by fourth-year Drawing & Painting/Creative Writing student Ehiko Odeh, a multidisciplinary Nigerian artist based in Toronto. The principal subject matter explored in Ehiko’s work is decolonization, unravelling spirituality linked to traditional Afrikan masks, sexual violence, and representation and perception of Black hair.
“Lady” by Ehiko Odeh
Markers and color pencils on Cardboard, 2017
From solo show OCHU’LU O’OYA (CELEBRATING CEREMONY), BAND Gallery. 2019
Motivated by a search for cultural connection after moving from Nigeria four years prior, Ehiko Odeh drew comfort from braiding hair and sketching African masks. In Ochu’lu O’oya—Celebrating Ceremony—Ehiko examines the sense of social identity that comes from these artistic traditions. Through the paintings, drawings and installations shared in this exhibition, Ochu’lu O’oya embodies the themes and symbols of memory and healing in Black communities and attempts to deconstruct the stereotypes and false representations of the colonial gaze on Black hair, African masks, and nationhood.
See more of Ehiko’s work @ehikoo
We also encourage you to check out OCAD U’s Black Students Association at @ocadu.bsa