As an artist whose identity is based primarily in the intersections of Blackness, queerness, and womanhood, my practice becomes a way in which I process circumstances situated within these identities whether occurring in the past, present, or future. The subjugation of identity, gender and sexuality is an entity I examine closely; alongside, tensions of hyper-visibility and invisibility, as well as, strength and fragility associated with Black femininity. Using ceramic sculpture, photography, and sound, to form installations; I explore implications of the body surrounding gender, race and sexuality in the context of racialized voyeurism. I use the body form, as well as, the absence of the body to contemplate complexities of labor, pleasure and desire as an ongoing search for due process. Through material usage and composition, I emphasize on the nexus between Western colonization and how Black identities see themselves in order to further progressions of a future that creates it own history.
LOLA AYISHA OGBARA (cultural worker & artist) born and raised in Chicago, Illinois holds many talents under her belt, i.e. sculpture, sound, design, photography and installation art. “My practice explores the multifaceted implications and ramifications of being in regards to the Black experience. I work with clay as a material in order to emphasize a necessary fragility which symbolizes an essential contradiction implicit in empowerments”. Ogbara holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Entertainment & Media Management from Columbia College Chicago in 2013 and a MFA in Visual Arts from Washington University Sam Fox School of Art & Design.
In 2017, Ogbara co-founded Artists in the Room, a collective of artists and scholars who host artists, emerging and established, in hopes of serving as a catalyst for artist development and networking. Ogbara has also received numerous fellowships and awards, including the Multicultural Fellowship sponsored by the NCECA 52nd Annual Conference, the Arts + Public Life and Center for the Study of Race, Politics & Culture Residency at the University of Chicago, and the Coney Family Fund Award hosted by the Chicago Artists Coalition.
Ogbara has exhibited in art spaces across the country and is currently based in Chicago, Illinois.