Art

DADA Gallery: Bunmi Agusto creates series of artworks and immersive tapestries to feature at Paris Fashion Week

Running from 27 September – 5 October 2021, Agusto’s mixed-media work will feature in the presentation of Kenneth Ize’s SS22 collection for PFW. This body of work was curated by Gallery Founder Oyinkansola Dada and created by the artist to resonate with the themes of Ize’s collection.

Agusto’s works are composed of pastel, ink and acrylic paint on paper and depict the migration of a group of people as they travel across a landscape of forests, caverns and rivers. Influenced by Amos Tutuola’s The Palm Wine Drinkard, Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Agusto illustrates her own fantastical world. Framed and supported by plaited hair, she alludes to the works taking place inside her head, and refers to this imaginary place as ‘Within.’

Bunmi Agusto, Kenneth Ize SS22 Backdrop Image, Image Courtesy of the Artist

Originally born in Lagos, Nigeria, Augusto moved to London at the age of sixteen. Her work expresses her sense of alienation experienced in life between these two lands through the metaphor of hybridity. The indigenous people that inhabit her world are created from an amalgamation of textures, scenery and iconography that resonate with her cultural consciousness as a Lagosian. 

Of her work, Agusto says, “I have always been captivated by surrealism and fantasy, especially fictional stories like the multiple iterations of Alice in Wonderland, where there are these pocket realities inside our own reality. So I have created this Wonderland-style world in my head, it has its own citizens, landscape and way of life. In this world, I think about what rites of passage look like, what leadership looks like and for this body of work, what migration looks like.”

Bunmi Agusto, Long Throat I, Tapestry, Image Courtesy of the Artist 

DADA Gallery, based in Nigeria and the UK, is committed to amplifying the voices of the most exciting emerging artists from Africa and the diaspora, who are tackling themes such as youth, identity, sexuality, cultural and socio-economic issues. 

Oyinkansola Dada, curator and founder of DADA Gallery says how “it is a pleasure to work with impressive Black female artists whose work inspire and resonate with me. Both artists engage with important conversations surrounding migration and identity. We are delighted to provide an important platform for fostering critical engagement with contemporary African art.”

Oyinkansola Dada wearing Kenneth Ize (left), with Bunmi Agusto (right), Image Courtesy of DADA Gallery

The show debuted on 27 September, featuring tapestries, such as Long Throat I (pictured) which will be the centrepiece of the runway presentation, as models walk through them.

By Phoebe Fraser

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