Efemena

For Winnipeg's Wall-to-Wall Mural Festival, artist Efemena Ogboru's illustration was displayed on the side of the Sherbrook Inn in the West Broadway neighbourhood. This project was created as part of the CreateSpace Public Art Residency, a national program designed in consultation with advisors from coast to coast, to provide emerging Black, Indigenous and racialized artists with the skills, relationships and practical experience needed to take their public art practice to the next level.

Project Type: Temporary Exhibit

Artist: Efemena Ogboru

Artist Statement: I am a Nigerian artist based in Canada. My artworks and process reflect how I stay in touch with my culture in a foreign country and show the influence of my environment. Efemena means my wealth in Urhobo and Efe means wealth. The lions in this piece are used to symbolize power and authority.

I love listening and dancing to music, especially afrobeat, which is why I included West African instruments. Since instruments cannot play by themselves, I put the children to play them. The instrument on the left is called a shekere, while the instrument on the right is called a talking drum. These instruments originated from West Africa and are popularly used in my home country, Nigeria. The talking drum offers a form of communication through music and was most times used to pass on information or make an announcement.

The cloth he is wearing is a representation of the Isi Agu (lion’s head) cloth which are mostly worn by Igbo people from the south eastern part of Nigeria. The red coral beads were mostly worn by Benin royalty or on important occasions like weddings. They also signify power, dominance, and hierarchy. I drew the African continent on the globe with the idea of it being a treasure map that foreigners keep trying to steal from or are actively stealing from and how we should be in full control of our resources. The ground is a remembrance of the red clay which has a lot of uses like pottery, sculpting, or building.

During my process I discovered that an Afro does not have to be a perfect circle or oval shape for it to be considered an Afro so I experimented in styling it in different shapes. The staff is a representation of black power movement. Through this piece I want to remind people how wealthy we Africans are. We are intelligent, resourceful, powerful, and most importantly rich in culture.

Sherbrook Inn, 685 Westminster Ave, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 2B2, Canada
  • <p>Artist: <a href="https://www.efeskeptar.art/">Efemena Ogburu</a></p><p>Photography: <a href="https://www.synonymartconsultation.com/">Synonym Art Consultation</a></p>
  • <p>Artist: <a href="https://www.efeskeptar.art/">Efemena Ogburu</a></p><p>Photography: <a href="https://www.synonymartconsultation.com/">Synonym Art Consultation</a></p>
  • <p>Artist: <a href="https://www.efeskeptar.art/">Efemena Ogburu</a></p><p>Photography: <a href="https://www.synonymartconsultation.com/">Synonym Art Consultation</a></p>

This project is part of the STEPS CreateSpace Public Art Residency and Wall-to-Wall Mural and Culture Festival 2022. The CreateSpace Residency is supported by the City of Toronto as part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021 – 2022, TD Bank Group through the TD Ready Commitment, Canada Council for the Arts, and Ontario Arts Council.