NGJ Summer Exhibition: Lucille Junkere

Lucille Junkere

Lucille Junkere - The Yoruba BLues - NG216

Lucille Junkere – The Yoruba Blues from Abeokuta Nigeria to Abeokuta Jamaica

The Yorùbá Blues responds to my ongoing research of Jamaica’s former indigo plantations linking to my 2016 Winston Churchill travel Fellowship to Nigeria to study indigo dyeing practices and pattern making amongst Yorùbá artisans. A  link between Jamaica and Nigeria exists through Yorùbá indentured labourers arriving in Jamaica from the 1840s. They settled mostly in Hanover and Westmoreland and one of their villages is named after the Nigerian Yorùbá city Abẹòkuta. These indentured workers were able to preserve their cultural traditions in ways denied to those who had been brought to Jamaica as enslaved. Their descendants known in Jamaica as Ettu and Nago continue to maintain these traditional cultural practices to maintain their ancestral connections.

This series takes inspiration from the structure of Yorùbá indigo dyed cloths called àdìrẹ. The cloths incorporates intricate patterns and complex symbols reflecting indigenous Yorùbá society, providing a valuable insight into Yoruba religion, culture, folklore and history. The patterns are passed down through generations with the cloth functioning as clothing and a means of communication, especially for Yorùbá women, because originally àdìrẹ textiles were made entirely by women.

The Yorùbá Blues explores the notion of an ‘African Jamaican identity’ similar to the approach taken by photographer Armet Francis who reconstructed in visual terms the “underlying unity of the black people who, colonialism and slavery distributed across the African diaspora” (Francis, 1985).

Website –
Instagram  @lucillejunkere

Beyond Fashion: Artist Talk Dec 15, 2018

Beyond Fashion Artist Talk

Photograph: Michelle Jorsling

The National Gallery of Jamaica is pleased to present the first of two Artist Talks for its current exhibition Beyond Fashion on Saturday, December 15 starting at 1:00 pm. Beyond Fashion seeks to explore the capacity for fashion themed or influenced art making to reflect and interrogate complex personal and societal histories. The exhibition also questions the supposed distinctions between art and craft. These concepts will be explored in the context of this exhibition during this session.

The discussion will be moderated by the exhibition’s lead curator O’Neil Lawrence and the panelist will include exhibiting artists Phillip Thomas, Yasmin Spiro as well as researcher, indigo dyer and artist Lucille Junkere. The panel discussion is free and open to the public. Persons in attendance will also have an opportunity to view the Beyond Fashion exhibition which will close on January 15, 2019.