Nnenna Okore

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Nnenna Okore (born 1975 in Thursday Island, Australia) is an Australian-born Nigerian artist who works both in Nigeria and the United States. Her largely abstract sculptures are inspired by textures, colours and forms within her immediate milieu. Okore's work frequently uses flotsam or discarded objects to create intricate sculptures and installations through repetitive and labour-intensive techniques.


  • Therefore, the solution to climatic problems has to be collective. It is our responsibility to treat and handle nature delicately, so that it can be sustained.
  • The roots are the vessels through which life passes to produce more. I am thinking about my own roots and of where I come from. Even when I am not in my homestead, I still feel very connected to who I am as an African.
  • On one hand, I am thinking about how ‘good things ultimately trump’ in our world, in spite of life’s unpredictability and abnormalities. It is my mantra – a way to remind myself that life events always tend to have cycles, so good things will definitely come to pass, even when life seems grim.
  • Through death, new forms are born. Even when it looks like something is diminishing or disappearing, it gives way to a whole new force. Death is always necessary for change to occur and for new life to come.
  • Unlike Western societies, where you find a lot of organised stores and shopping centres, African markets are rather visceral, tactile, and very physical.
  • Man has a symbiotic relationship with the Earth. We depend on the natural surroundings for sustenance, shelter and survival. Ecological and climatic conditions in the natural habitat reflect how well we manage Earth’s resources. We can only ensure our longevity if we protect and preserve the planet.
  • Motherhood has made me more appreciative of and empathetic to others. It has also taught me a lot about the nurturing qualities of earth, which is the basis for most of my work.

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