Marcellina Akpojotor
(Lagos, Nigeria, 1989)

Here and Now II, 2019

Textile collage and acrylic on canvas
121,9 x 91,4 cm
[Photo: Ela Bialkowska, OKNO Studio, © ADAGP, Paris. Courtesy Pascale Marthine Tayou and GALLERIA CONTINUA, by SIAE 2021]

Marcellina Akpojotor employs collage and traditional painting techniques to produce richly textured and layered work with visual imagery exploring femininity, personal and societal identity and issues surrounding women’s empowerment in contemporary society. Working primarily with discarded pieces of the Ankara fabric, sourced from local fashion houses ─ commonly known as the ‘African print fabric’ despite its Dutch origin ─, she investigates the politics of the fabric as a cultural signifier and a conduit for memory and shared energy. 

Her works, like Here and Now II, portraying female figures, reference the long, arduous journey to female empowerment and gender equality, especially in contemporary African societies.

Marcellina Akpojotor lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria. In 2015, she participated in Make We Do, a performance workshop by Afiriperfoma at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, and in 2016, the 19th Bone Performance Art Festival, in Bern. In 2017, she was awarded the Ronke Ekwensi Salon fellowship following the publication of the book The Art of Nigerian Women by Ben Bosah in which she was profiled. In 2018, Akpojotor had her first solo exhibition She Was Not Dreaming at Rele Gallery, Lagos, and she has also taken part in several group exhibitions including Sisters: The Art of Nigerian Women at the Carnegie Gallery, Columbus, Ohio.