Eloghosa’s art is breathtaking! I’ve been following her work for quite a while now and the writer/photographer finds a way to pull on the strings of my heart with everything she puts out. I first fell in love with her words years ago, and it’s the way she takes the simplest things and infuses such life and beauty and grace that keeps me all in my feels. The same thing happened when she took to photography as The Forgetter’s Eye.
Eloghosa is primarily a street photographer whose eye delights in the beauty of the mundane. Her interests lie in being able to draw attention to the ignorable happenings of our everyday lives.
I recently curated an art exhibition with the theme ‘Woman In Bloom’, creating a space for women to be unapologetically woman (whatever that interpretation is for the woman in particular) and fully human; the self-actualization of women in a typically patriarchal society. Eloghosa was one of the participating artists and she put together a body of work that explored the theme by considering what it’s like:
i, growing into a woman [viewing childhood and adolescence as conduits],
ii, being comfortably, beautifully and even painfully woman, and
iii, growing inside of that identity, via sisterhood, friendship, motherhood and love.
These concepts were expressed via photographs and free verse poetry in a way that beautifully represented the theme and the subject of womanhood in general, gracefully warming my heart and I’m sure the hearts of everyone who has had a chance to see it.
TRUTH OR DARE?
Truth: When was the last time you abused yourself in a way that you won’t tolerate from others?
Dare: Forgive yourself.
i) When it comes to it, in what language will we apologise to our bodies;
for all the obscenities that they’ve seen, for all the crimes against, for all the breaking out, the breaking into, the hands on, the marks on, the starvation, the inflation, the obsession, the neglect, the sick things, the bitter things, the anger,
the times we shoved them into endless voids, the voids, the shoving, the pulling, the stealing, the foolish givings, the keeping quiet, the choking, the falling, the flailing, the failings?
ii) For some of us,
some secrets were speeding vehicles with no brakes
on a highway
And our childhoods just did not move out of the way fast enough.
Womanhood, like other gated estates,
can be entered into
by cutting corners and jumping fences.
God is still showing me that I am not a thief,
I can enter through the door.
Some things are indeed worth begging for.
Love is not one of them.
Many things are worth throwing to the wind;
Well, not respect,
But of course you already know this:
that bad love curdles in your veins and
clots the peace;
is a broken record.
we have all heard it before:
the muffled crying at night
the sharp rattling of bones
the maddening itch
where only God can reach.
Remember that it is a clean, sharp edge to the neck,
swings once and then
there’s a red river, pouring out the cut.
So, do not give it to yourself.
do not take it from anyone else.
Who is it that you are waiting for to release you?
Your life is flowering open.
… so why only remember the days you itched to be everything and everyone but yourself?
How about the moment that seized you by the hair and dragged you from your madness, to this woman who was always here,
with all this God flowering out of her?
How about it?
Say thank you.
i) In the dark, you took off your life to try on someone else’s,
You cried when it did not fit.
Next time, do the right thing:
ii) Contentment has a taste.
Your tongue has great memory.
And now, even if we don’t do much else, we must
explode out of all the voices that have become boxes and weights.
until all that’s left is dust.
“Listen to me,
don’t let anyone steal your joy or your peace.
– My mother.
God. Don’t wait for the edge.
Sieve the voices.
So you’ll finally hear The One who has always called you Free.
I used to love with my teeth;
until I met a love worth trusting,
a love worth letting go.
… It did not go.
Open the door.
It’ll be empty
until you let God enter the void.
It is artists like Eloghosa who make being a curator such a joy. It’s artists like her who give me confidence that the sacredness and sanctity of art is preserved even through contemporary expressions.
If you’re unfamiliar with her writings, start with this piece edited by Chimamanda Adichie.
PS. If you’re in Lagos and haven’t had a chance to see the Woman In Bloom exhibition, it’s open till this Friday, 9th October, at the Art Gallery in Freedom Park, 12 – 7pm daily.