Launch Event: Hairstyles and Headdresses by J.D. Okhai Ojeikere

26 Sep 2014

Event times

6pm - 9pm

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The New Art Exchange

Nottingham, United Kingdom

Event map

Launch Event: Hairstyles and Headdresses by J.D. Okhai Ojeikere


6PM: EXHIBITION OPENING A complimentary drink and themed canapes will be served on arrival. DJ Trew will be playing all evening in the cafe lounge. 7PM - 7.20PM: SPEECHES NAE CEO Skinder Hundal will welcome guests and the exhibition will be officially opened by Roger Malbert, Senior Curator, Hayward Touring, and Chief B. Okenwa and Lolo Okenwa from the Igbo community 7.20PM - 7.45PM: ENTERTAINMENT Guests will be treated to some live performances 9PM: CLOSE Hairstyles and Headdresses presents the work of Nigerian photographer J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere, widely regarded as one of the greatest African photographers of the 20th Century. Ojeikere earned international acclaim through this collection, a series of beautifully composed black and white photographs that captures the elaborately sculpted hair of Ojeikere's fellow countrywomen. 'There are hundreds of ethnic groups in Nigeria, each with its own language, traditions and as many different hairstyles... The hairstyles are never exactly the same; each one has its own beauty...' J. D. 'Okhai Ojeikere This personal project began in 1968 and grew to encompass 1,000 photographs taken over 40 years - only reaching its conclusion following the artist's death earlier this year. These ever-evolving hair designs symbolised key life events such as weddings or birthdays, and often denoted social status — with unique family hairstyles being passed down through generations. The styles became known by their nicknames, which emerged from either the geographic area, or from the natural and manmade forms they imitated including pineapples, crabs, suspension bridges or tower blocks. To Ojeikere, the hairstyles celebrate uniqueness and reflect the diversity of cultural traditions within Nigeria. A Hayward Touring exhibition from Southbank Centre, London, developed in collaboration with Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris. Ben Harriott Alongside Hairstyles and Headdresses we also launch a new photography collection by local artist Ben Harriott. Through his practice Harriott seeks to celebrate the cultural richness of minority communities in Britain and for this exhibition he has spent time in the West-Indian barbershops of Nottingham. Looking beyond the Barbershop as a place for 'cutting hair', Harriott's images reveal the alternative functions of these spaces and their role in shaping the lives of those that frequent them.

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