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Loose Ends & Otjize

by Odera Igbokwe

Acrylics & Colored pencil on paper

Otjize is the red ochre conditioner that protects the Himba people of Namibia that is applied to the skin and hair. The hair takes on a sculptural rope like quality, with the ends being free for new growth.

The richness of the diaspora amazes me, when I look at a similar technique of box braids and twists where the ends are left untied. As I created this piece, I meditated on the ingenuity of Black people who often feel lost in the diaspora, being able to find their way back subconsciously even down to hair braiding traditions.


Measurements (in inches)
Overall original with frame 10 x 13
9 x 12
Image Window 8 ½ x 5 ½

$250 $250

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Odera Igbokwe is an illustrator and painter located in Vancouver, BC by way of Brooklyn, NY. Odera loves to explore storytelling through Afro-diasporic mythologies, black resilience, and magical girl transformation sequences. Their work alchemizes color, movement, and queer magic to weave together ancient narratives with afrofuturist visions. You can also find Odera as manager of Every Day Original, curating and collaborating on zines, or combo-breaking the internet.