Nodules of riotously hued and ornamented fabric are clustered together in a hectic conglomeration of pattern and colour. They resemble a mad vertically suspended fruit bowl, overflowing with strange, multi-coloured apples, oranges and grapes or perhaps aerial views of a Nigerian market or clusters of huts in village compounds. These are the textile works of the young, award winning, Nigerian artist Samuel Nnorom.
Born in Nigeria in 1990, his success is in large part down to the making skills of his parents. His father ran a cobbler’s where the young Nnorom sketched portraits of customers. At his mother’s atelier, he played with the colourful remnants of the textile she used in her tailoring business. “I was inspired by my mum’s workshop,” he said. I saw some of this material known as Ankara fabric. It is very colourful and has African motifs on it.” Ankara is the cotton wax resist cloth used throughout West Africa,
he uses scrap fabric from neighbourhood tailors, supplemented by finds in local markets and used clothes. He doesn’t pre-plan his work. “I get involved in my bubbles and then I hear a voice giving me direction,” he said. “Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.”