• Genre
    • Oil on Canvas board, 16" x 20"

This painting was from a photograph taken by Aziza Atta to showcase some of the African artefacts sold by her company, ‘Ozoza Lifestyle’. The lively colours in the baskets immediately attracted me because the Africa I know is energetic and I felt that these baskets were symbolic of this energy. I did some research into colour psychology and symbolism in the Yoruba Nigerian culture, mainly from reading the research publication, ‘Colour Utilization among the Yorubas of Southwest Nigeria: An Empirical Analysis’ by Oluwole et al, 2013. Being half Yoruba myself, I found this paper quite fascinating and decided to incorporate some traditional Yoruba symbolism of colours into other aspects of the painting. I had the idea of including an explosion of bright orange, reds, pinks, and dark yellows in the background. These colours form part of the “Pupa” (red) chromatic system and represent hot fiery characteristics of danger, wickedness, instability and evil. I loved the idea of having a strong female figure turning her back on this world. I decided to depict her clothed in dark moss green, which forms part of the “dudu” (black) chromatic system and represents a practical, earthy personality. I felt that together with her white cowrie necklace which forms part of the ‘Fun fun’ (white) chromatic system and represents peace, these would be symbolic of her strength of character. My intention was to show the colours, vibrancy, and warmth of Africa in picture. I have given this painting a Yoruba name, “Alapere”, which means the basket seller.