Victor Okolakpa

Traditional Woman with Calabash, 2020

Textile, Acrylic on Canvas. 122x91cm
“The Art piece titled ‘’Traditional Woman with Calabash, made in late December 2020, expresses the strength and traditional ways of West African women. The load on her head and hands is an abstract decorative calabash which is made from a plant vine fruit and grown mostly in the tropical semi desert environments of Africa. Calabash has been in use for more than 10 thousand years. It is mostly use as bowls for carrying water, grains, flours, fishing and use as inkpot etc.
African women carrying load, clay pot, calabash, bucket or fire woods etc. as been a way of culture longtime ago. There is no specific reason for carrying load on head. But the best purpose was serving as easy way of carrying things either around the market trading, fetching water, and fetching fire woods from the farm. Other reasons of practice are use in dancing festivals. But, this is only a practice in the rural rough area and unlikely in the urban places.
Some of my works speak and express the life style of African women carrying pot or load on the head dressing with African fabric patterns.
I chose to use the medium fabric to express my Art works in late 2018, before I moved to Australia. While living in my country Nigeria, I was very inspired of the bold intricate patterns and hue colors of fabrics. I had a passion of making beautiful Art works with the expression of my work practice. Then, I began gathering bunch of up cycle fabrics from the different Nigerian Tailors. And in late 2018, I made my first Art piece ‘’Mama Africa pot” that is where my journey began as a contemporary Artist.” ~ Victor Okolakpa, 2021