Wanger Ayu
Ayu was born in Jos, Plateau state, Nigeria and is a self-taught multimedia artist and fashion designer. Wanger presently lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria where she is inspired by African histories, cultures, and spirit, as well as a deeply curious mind. Ayu studied law at the University of Exeter, UK, and fashion in the Middle East, launching her own fashion label. Art became her therapy and escape following illness, providing a great sense of freedom. Since then, Ayu has been mentored by some of Nigeria’s old and young masters including Professor Bruce Onobrakpeya and Mr. Sam Ovraiti through the Harmattan Workshop Series, and other renowned Nigerian artists. Ayu is inspired by African histories, cultures, and spirit. Her mediums of expression combine the use of the tiv a’nger fabric with painting, printmaking, transfer and collage. Through her works, Ayu seeks to engage materiality and the power that materials have to convey meaning, and affect identity. By rearranging pieces of the locally made, and handwoven fabrics of the Tiv people of the Benue Valley, Nigeria (to which she attributes a part of her heritage) as a metaphor for physical environments; with the fabrics simultaneously representing cultural backgrounds, new environments, and who we have to become within them. Interrogating these fabrics and the significance they bear, holds an even deeper meaning for Ayu as her late grandfather was a weaver of the cloth. Ayu wants the viewer to interact with the subjects and introspect on the factors that shape identity. We are shaped and reshaped by our environments and experiences, causing the individual and society to evolve over time.

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