September 26 – November 8, 2015

Arrowhead Gallery

Transitions by Nnenna Okore, 2013, Newspaper and acrylic, 100 x 120 x 12 in.

Nnenna Okore's Artist Statement:
My work broadly focuses on the concepts of recycling, transformation and regeneration of forms based on observations from ecological and manmade environments. I am drawn to uniquely diverse and tactile characteristics of the collective physical world. I am astounded by natural phenomena that cause things to become weathered, dilapidated and lifeless - those events slowly triggered by aging, death and decay - and subtly captured in the fluid and delicate nature of life.

My materials are biodegradable and comprise largely of old newspapers, found paper, ropes, thread, yarn, fibers, burlap, dye, coffee, starch, clay, etc. Through manually repetitive techniques as mirrored in both natural and mechanical reproductions, my processes of fraying, tearing, teasing, weaving, dyeing, waxing, accumulating and sewing allow me to interweave and synthesize the distinct properties of materials. I systematically deconstruct and reconstruct my media to yield subtle transformations of visual complexities. And much like impermanent earthly attributes, my organic and twisted structures mimic the dazzling intricacies of fabric, trees, barks, topography and architecture.

I desire to heighten through my works, the perception of textures, undulating contours and movements that exist within our ephemeral world; and to evoke reflections about how to better appreciate and preserve our earthbound surroundings.

Born in Australia and raised in Nigeria, Nnenna Okore has received international acclaim for her installations, in which she reclaims and reconfigures organic or discarded materials into abstract, richly-textured forms of extraordinary range and nuance. Okore is keenly sensitive to the rhythms and contours of everyday life. The repetitive acts of stitching, twisting, rolling, or weaving; the familiar sounds of sweeping, chopping, talking, and washing, all deeply inform her aesthetic, as they signal both the transience of human labor and its inevitable mark on the material world.

Nnenna Okore is a Professor of Art at Chicago's North Park University, where she chairs the Art Department and teaches Sculptural Practices. She earned her B.A degree in Painting from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (First Class Honors) in 1999, and subsequently received her MA and MFA at the University of Iowa, in 2004 and 2005 respectively. Okore has received numerous national and international awards, notably in 2012 she was a recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Award. Her participation in over eighty solo and group exhibitions combined, over the past decade has earned her much international recognition and accolade. Nnenna Okore has upcoming exhibitions at Rush Arts Gallery, New York; Mattatuck Art Museum; Memphis Brooks Museum of Art; N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, Detroit; and Jenkins Johnson Gallery.

Lecture: March 28, 2016
in Von Ohlen Hall, room 200, Sugar Grove Campus
All our lectures are free and open to the general public.

Workshop: March 28, 2016
in Von Ohlen Hall, room 200, Sugar Grove Campus
Our workshops are open to all current Waubonsee students (registration required).

For more information about the art exhibitions at Waubonsee Community College, contact Cecilia Vargas, Art Coordinator, at (630) 466-2964.


Art Department:

Art Coordinator:
Cecilia Vargas, Von Ohlen Hall, Room 209
(630) 466-2964

Art Lab Assistant:
Esther Espino, Von Ohlen Hall, Room 240
(630) 466-5742