How did you get into photography? I started off taking it at sixth form to fill in the time as I concentrated on other A-levels such as Psychology, but it ended up being the one which most challenged me. I had to think in a completely different way than I was used to. The last 2 years have been pivotal to the direction of my photography. The decision to refocus my photography on my identity as a British-Nigerian, femininity and the less spoken narratives of West African heritage, remains my motivation to keep pushing.
Who are some of the artists who inspire your practice? I always revisit Carrie Mae Weems and her unforgettable Kitchen Table series. I sometimes mediate on it as a reminder to keep portraying the stories of black women, keep portraying stories of myself. Because who better to tell my truth, than me? Other late greats, such as Seydou Keïta , Malick Sidibé, Irving Penn and Robert Mapplethorpe, photographers who I consider to be visionaries in merging of art and fashion.
What does your own hair mean to you? Has its meaning changed since you began exploring the subject? Most definitely, without a doubt. Honestly, this all started out of curiosity for my own hair in its natural state, without chemicals. I was going through a stage of trying to understand who I truly was as an individual and the conversation of double-consciousness as a British-Nigerian came into play. I became so obsessed with my hair and questions of identity; eventually stumbling upon all this history about West African hair methods. Discovering how detrimental the effects of colonialism have been on the black woman and how she self-identifies, push me to do more. Once I gained an understanding of who I am, what my truth is, only then could I begin to heal the internalised self-hatred I had once experienced.
What’s up next? I feel that the cross-over with all of these projects is never-ending. I still have so much I need to explore, uncover, historical research that needs to be done. Expanding the conversation on hair and identity, opening it up for further investigation, is something that I feel will never end for me. This is such a universally relatable topic, and I feel like I have only just touched the surface.