From Northern Nigeria, Ndidikanma “Ndidi” Emefiele is a multimedia artist whose portraits of black women with larger than life heads have charmed art lovers around the world. Her signature style – which is typically characterized by oversized female heads donning natural hair and enormous eye wear – is embodied in her ongoing series, Rainbow.
While she began her artistic career painting landscapes – influenced by an early exposure to impressionistic works in art books – the subject of black womanhood quickly became her focus. Intrigued by the roles of culture, family, tradition and how expectations of gender can shape the identity of a person, Emefiele began to incorporate these ponderings into her art.
A reaction to the perceived contradictions that pepper societal expectations of women, particularly in Emefiele’s home country of Nigeria, her Rainbow series utilises discarded materials including CD’s, clock bezels, textiles, wires, and pearls. Lending her pieces a physicality and tactile quality, these found objects also represent Emefiele’s break from the more traditional artistic practices she was taught in university.