This collection was inspired by the drawings of Taiye Idahor, a contemporary fine artist from Nigeria. Her beautiful drawing collection entitled “Ivie” was the visual material that guided the process. The meaning of “Ivie” is bead in the Bini language. Some of these drawings were on display at the Zeitz Mocaa in Cape Town.
She describes this collection on her website as follows:
“The Ivie series doesn’t only speak on women’s behalf but is encouraging a dialogue, provoking a response from women about their own sense of place and power. In Nigeria today, modern brides very casually imitate same bead regalia of the Iyoba during elaborate wedding ceremonies and in order to achieve the same majestic regalia, the use of inexpensive plastic beads instead of real coral beads has become the norm for most people. The practices of imitation and mass-production raise important questions about the authenticity of the power and respect accorded to women today.
I used this relationship between imitation and authenticity by drawing my own royal insignia symbols and using it in conjunction with the semi-precious stones to create the collection. In my opinion this is dialogue between the artwork and the jewels.