Victoria Udondian

Victoria Udondian
Victoria Udondian, Aso Ikele (1948) 2012

Before studying painting, Victoria Udondian trained as a tailor and fashion designer. Her work today is informed by her interest in textiles, in the capacity of clothing to shape identity and the histories and tacit meanings woven into everyday materials.

In 2010, Udondian travelled to Dakar, Accra and Bamako researching the impact secondhand clothing has had on the West African textiles industry and on cultural identity. Interested in confronting notions of ‘authenticity’ and ‘cultural contamination’, Udondian tests conceptions of West African textiles against present and past realities, convinced ‘…that there exists some consequences on the perception of one’s identity when the language of the fabrics one wears is changed fundamentally.’

Aso Ikele (1948) made for We Face Forward takes the Whitworth’s textile collection as its starting point. The collection ranges from textiles made in Manchester for export to the West African market in the eighteenth century, to fabrics by contemporary makers in Mali who supply DKNY with hand-spun cotton.

Combining materials and narratives from Lagos and Manchester, Udondian weaves myths and histories into her own textiles, creating her own hybrids and questioning how stories become histories.


Born in 1982 in Nigeria. Lives and works in Nigeria.

Studied at the University of Uyo graduating with a BA in Painting in 2004. She is an active member of various art groups and collectives, including the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) and the Catalyst Women Arts and Science in Portsmouth, UK since 2008.

Recent shows include SAS, the Bag Factory Studios, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2012; A Kilo of Hope, Yusuf Grillo Gallery, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, Nigeria 2011; The Green Summary, Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), Lagos, Nigeria, 2010; Who is Wearing My T-shirt? Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), Lagos, Nigeria, 2010; Hidden Drama, King’s Theatre, Southsea, UK 2010.

Artist residencies include the Art Enclosures for the Fondazione di Venezie, Italy 2011 and the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) / Triangle Arts Trust Artist Residency in Nigeria, 2010.


Martin Barlow, curator of the exhibition Moving Into Space at the National Football Museum talks about the exhibition.

Barthélémy Toguo, Lucy Azubuike and Nnenna Okore, three of the exhibited artists, talk about their work and their interest in using materials which reflect the lifestyle and experience of the people of West Africa.

Twitter (#wefaceforward)

Creative Tourist


Nine countries show off their talent as five city venues link up for a summer celebration. Helen Nugent in the Guardian

Street life, dazzling dress, social commentary and a riot of sensuous colour interweave in a rich assembly of West African art, writes Charles Gore in the Times Higher Education