“…aṣọ òkè is a fabric that responds to changes. I will call it the chameleon textile.” – Professor Péjú Láyíwọlá

In This Episode
Lace is just one part of a much bigger, longer picture of Yorùbá textiles and dress culture. In the final episode of the season, join our host and an artist-educator as we unpack parts of this canon—the enduring adages about dress & appearance, the labor-intensive openwork of handwoven aṣọ òkè, the intricate patterns of àdìrẹ—and talk about where lace fits in.

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Péjú Láyíwọlá is an artist and Professor of Art history, University of Lagos. She combines research with active artistic practice. Her research, writing and artistic engagements have consistently engaged artifact pillage, restitution, history, and memory themes. She has published several articles both locally and internationally, some of which appear in notable journals and books. Some of her solo exhibitions include Benin 1897.com: Art and the Restitution Question (2010); Whose Centenary? (2014); Return (2018); Indigo Reimagined (2019), RESIST! The Art of Resistance, and I Miss You, both exhibitions at the Rautenstrauch Joest Museum, Koln, Germany (2021-22). She has received several awards and grants, some of which include the Lagos Studies Association Distinguished Scholars Award, 2021; Tyson Scholar, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2019; Terra Foundation for American Art Grant, 2018 and Distinguished Researcher’s Award, Faculty of Arts, University of Lagos, 2007 to mention a few.

She is also an alumnus of the CAA-Getty International Program, participating in 2013 (Los Angeles), 2018 (Los Angeles), and 2020 (Chicago). Layiwola served as visiting professor and scholar at the University of Arkansas (2019-2020) and has been on several international residencies, including Artist in residence/fellow, University of Bayreuth 2022, Residency for Artist and Writers (RAW), Arts of Africa and the Global South Research Programme, South Africa 2018; Goethe Institut Grantee, Artist-in-Residence, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf, Germany, 2017. She is President of the Art Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA), USA; a life member of the Lagos Studies Association and a member of the College Arts Association, USA. Layiwola runs two art-led initiatives; a non-profit, the Women and Youth Art Foundation and MasterArtClasses in Lagos. Her work has impacted several communities and has been largely supported by the US State Department - in 2011 through the Hillary Clinton SmARTpower project, the US Lagos Consulate grant (2017) and US Exchange Alumni Award in 2018. She is listed in Art Cities of the Future: 21st Century Avant-Gardes, Phaidon Press, London, 2014 and the more recent Phaidon publication, African Artists From 1882 to now (2021).

mary adeogun (BGC MA ’22) studies textiles, garments, and dress culture. For the past four years she has focused on Yorùbá dress culture and textile practices from her family heritage, relying on conversations with stylish aunties about their lace and aṣọ òkè, interviews with àdìrẹ collectors and scholars, brief apprenticeships or workshops with practicing textile artists, and beyond. Other interests include fiber and dyeing science, how clothes are displayed, American dress culture and everyday dress habits. She is grateful to the many loved ones and teachers in her life that make this learning possible.

Featuring original music by Ahamefule Oluo.