A Collaborative Experiment of Joy

Digital Photography


Uzoma Ekpunobi and I explore themes of Carnival masquerade, intertwining fabric and the body in a collaborative experiment. This work draws inspiration from traditional Igbo masquerade, 'Mmanwu', meaning 'Spirit of the Dead'. This piece embraces gender fluidity and challenges norms upheld by male-exclusive societies. These ideas merge with repurposed fabrics, transforming shirts and pants into wearable art. 

This work combines tradition, identity, and interconnectedness within cultures. In my practice, I explore themes of Carnival and masquerade. I wanted to reuse fabric to create wearable art that incorporates the body and movement. Collaborating with another artist was something I wanted to explore as community plays a role in my art practice. Our collaborative experiment played with the organic flow of fabrics cascading over my body, capturing the fluidity and motion inherent in Carnival.

We played with no end goal in mind and immersed ourselves in the creative process, embracing spontaneity and allowing our artwork to evolve organically. This liberating approach enabled us to create something truly experimental and unrestrained, rooted in the present moment rather than fixated on a predetermined end result.

For both of us, community is integral to our artistic practice. It's a source of inspiration and connection, shaping the way we engage with our cultural heritage and express ourselves through art. Through our collaboration, we not only celebrated our shared experiences but also forged a deeper understanding of the intersections between African and Caribbean masquerade.

“Such an important part of this work is Black joy, as an act of resistance and methodology. This is built into the work and is what motivates me to continue working with others in the community.”

Using Format