LeahZarzour Staff Reporter
JourneySherman Features Editor
Kintsugi—the Japanese art form of repairing broken pottery with with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum. This symbolizes repairing the breakage of history.
As I enter the gallery, the room is encompassed with hues of light pink and elements of African and Asian culture. There is an indescribable ambience set by featured artist Valereigh Durojaiye (SR). Her pieces are transcendental and introspective—these aspects are embedded into her soulful paintings. They showcase “a cosmic wavelength of a humanity’s role in the universe” and explores “the connectedness to the metaphysical and spiritual concepts to people,” said Durojaiye.
The selected subjects portrayed have all made an impact on her life in some way, making the exhibit that much more personal. As an artistic touch, all of her pieces with the exception of one were pupilless. She wanted to give the subjects a supernatural depiction with visual celestial, spiritual elements. She believes, “pupils take away from the focus of the piece” and “pupilless eyes focus on the experience.”
The interactive portion of her exhibit— viewers were asked to choose word that is a powerful emotion. Most of the words had positive connotations and exalted the notion of expressing self-exploration and realization throughout society. Her pieces convey a narrative that connects her heritage—“the creation of the universe through a human’s perspective with a connection of afrocentrism”—with life experiences and juvenile growing pains. She delves deep into the very marrow of adolescent introspection and showcases raw emotion. Her pieces in some ways tell a story, but it’s so much more than a coming of age. Her pieces create an illusion of a peak inside her diary. The most intimate details of her life come to life through each piece.
In the center of the gallery, “Brave the storms both outside your window and inside yourself” is beautifully featured tying together the central theme of the show. It’s “bracing yourself for the turbulent emotions that happen inside of you, as well as outside in the world.” The main aesthetic for her work comes from Durojaiye’s personal experiences and viewpoint of the world around her. She claims “this year was one of the most formative years of [her]entire life.” The women she admires are displayed in her artwork as strong, fearless women embracing afrocentrism with certain aspects of tribal details surrounding her pieces. The words written around her artwork also depict the emotions the artist feels are most powerful and influential for herself. In the interactive board she presented, Durojaiye asked her guests to write down the emotion they’re feeling at the moment to emphasize the connectedness within people.
Durojaiye’s exhibit intertwines the beauty of words and visuals with quotes pinned next to each piece. One quote in particular, “feel the fear and do it anyways” has left a lasting impact on her. In her own words this mantra is “the hallmark of bravery.” Her words flawlessly fuse with deft craftsmanship throughout the show. She wanted to choose quotes that would speak to viewers in the same manner they spoke to her.