Meet Victoria & Yemi! Our two newest artists here in at the Steel Yard in our Residency Program! The Steel Yard’s Residency Program is designed to assist emerging to mid-level artists in growing and strengthening their art practice in a supportive, cooperative environment through access to the Steel Yard’s studios and facilities. Participating artists have the opportunity to work together, to take part in community events and sales and to be creative leaders in a vibrant community shop. Most of all, residents get an all access pass to our studios in pursuit of their own work.
My current project focuses on the theme of transformation in mother/child relationships – the shift that takes place when the child becomes the caretaker – as well as differences/changes in perception. I will be making multiple pieces, some based on my vision alone and at least one collaborative piece. I will work with a painter who will interpret my personal writings into two dimensional images which I will then transform to sculpture. I want to explore what images my words evoke in another visual artist’s mind, seeing if it mirrors, expands on, or is completely different than my own.
I know exactly what I want to do with my life. Creating something complex from a simple block of clay. Having a personal hand in its progression from wet clay, to leather hard and bone dry too, then to have it bisque in the kiln; it sparks a fire in me. Seeing it glazed and beautiful, utilitarian or abstract, drives me to learn more, work harder, and be the best version of myself.
I recognize that I am still growing as a person, as a Nigerian woman, and as an artist. Beyond my love of the art, I am aware of my position as Nigerian in the industry. Being brought up in American culture, the concept of “Black” was attributed to me regardless of my own understanding of my identity. I feel that my art is presenting an alternative narrative of what the child of an immigrant is “supposed to” do. While I am exploring my thoughts on the issue through my art, it is not the center nor the limit of my creative expression.