RUKAYAT AYOKUNMI, RASAKI
"Good old days”
There's a Yoruba saying that"people are like the flow of the river, they come and go". If we were made to do love alone there wouldn't have been many of us. We all long for the presence of a loved one, an experience, memory, or feeling.
For as long as I could remember I struggle to show emotions around people. Lately, I find myself recalling moments of listening to Baba Tomolasho's journey to the great hub of Japan and his escapades as a legal consultant in Nigeria when he retells every story in fluent English and pronunciations. These memories lead me to a moment of awareness and wonder if I am on the path to being remembered for a great life or one full of regrets.
The strong clash of pink and green pointed to a tangle within me. When I first tasted the green mango, it was an amazing taste experience; sour, sweet, spicy, a complex flavour that built my impression of it. And human beings are as complicated as green mangoes in my perception.
I tried to explain a disgust with myself, a hatred of my fragile and sensitive character, and the helplessness of my inability to save myself. That is why I painted the scene of murdering the mango.
As I said, humans are like green mangoes, so the mango (the victim), the hand (the murderer) and the knife (the instrument of murder) are all green, suggesting that this is an internal confrontation, a destruction within the spiritual world, a hatred of oneself and a desire to detach. It is so romantic because the man believes that there will be no more hurt from outside by abandoning that fragile self. The world turns a lovely shade of pink.
The artwork "Thoughts in the Deep" addresses the intricacies of the human mind and the enigmas of ourinner world. A lone woman is shown in the work, and her reflective stare and thoughtful face inspire the audience to reflect on the depths of their thoughts and feelings.
The figure is painted in vibrant colors on a textured cloth background to represent the variety and complexity of our inner experiences. This piece of art's usage of textiles has importance as well. Through out history, tales, emotions, and cultural customs have all been communicated via textiles.
The textured backdrop in this piece gives the artwork more depth and complexity and serves as ametaphor for the layers of intricacy that make up our inner self. The artwork emphasizes the interaction between our inner and outside worlds by placing the painted figure in opposition to the cloth.
In the end, "Thoughts in theDeep" encourages the audience to delve deeper into the secrets of the human condition, to embrace the complexity of their own inner selves, and to discover beauty in the way their ideas, feelings, and the environment around them interact.
WE ARE RAYA
We are Roxanne and Anna, the Filipina-British creative duo behind raya! We specialise in illustration and 2D animation, and are best known for imagining spaces through colour, pattern and hidden easter eggs. After graduating in 2019, we realised our passion for illustration and saw the opportunity to create something bigger through raya. Our interest stems from spaces and the way people inhabit them. We draw inspiration from body language and the details of our surroundings that resonate with us to portray emotion and expression. With that, a majority of our work centres around themes of self-expression, identity and community, matched with our shared interests in music and interior design.
Our submission is a celebration of our experiences as Filipinos born in London. Despite being raised indifferent areas of the city, we both share a deep connection to our Filipino roots and have very similar experiences with language at home. Neither of us are fluent in our mother tongue (Tagalog) but we have a good understanding of the language which has had a significant impact on how we communicate with our families.
For the most part, our parents speak to us in Tagalogand we respond in English. This illustration captures how both cultures play a role in defining our identities. We’ve interpreted the theme through our use of colour and mixed media asa means to mirror the blend of Filipino heritage and British influences - from the food we eat to the entertainment we consume. Our goal was to also depict London as more than just landmarks, but a landscape of housing filled with Londoners from all walks of life. As raya bunny isa reflection of us and our brand, this illustration portrays where we come from and how it has informed our creative practise today.
My painting 'Citizen of the World' represents a striped silhouette of a man painted in acrylic on African wax mounted on canvas with some 80s style patch added for fun. I wanted to express two main points: the stripes represent all the personality facets, socio cultural backgrounds and life experiences an individual is made of so it's an invitation not to have any prejudices or preconceptions when meeting someone or 'not to judge a book by its cover'.
The second point is that humankind most probably originates from a few places in Africa (represented here by theAfrican wax as a metaphor for 'the fabric of society'), so in other word we are all One. Humans first evolved in Africa, and much of human evolution occurred on that continent. The fossils of early humans who lived between 6 and 2million years ago come entirely from Africa. All human beings come from the same place, the same few original tribes. We are all originally 'Citizen of theWorld'.