Art & Exhibitions

Aqua oil & Acrylic on Canvas

A collection of paintings inspired by the performance primer, Crushed Guava Leaves

September 28 – October 26, 2018
Opening Reception: 6pm – 8pm September 28, 2018
OOF Books
912A Cypress Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90065

OOF Books is pleased to present a collection of drawings and paintings by Oroma Elewa inspired
by stories in her recently published performance primer Crushed Guava Leaves. Using the
medium of text and crafted specifically to inspire performance, the artist wove an evocative
tapestry of memories, dreams, encounters, experiences, and observations as a transnational
Nigerian/Black woman. Devoid of imagery or illustration, visualization was open to the
imagination of the reader.
In a shift from its original intention, the work has beckoned the artist to explore other visual
contours and possibilities using canvas and paint. While this might seem like a departure from its
original performative goals, each painting manifests as a tableaux of action and meaning
expressed in dreamlike landscapes created with dark lines, simple forms, and a liberal usage of
primary colors. Taking the idea that the possibilities of performance could exist in even the
smallest line or frame, the viewer is invited into a drama of release—pain and joy pregnant within
each stroke.
Oroma Elewa was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. She has sought home, first in the United
States, and in various cities across Africa and Europe. This transnationalism has inspired the
direction of her creative projects, first of which was Pop’Africana, a fashion and art magazine
which she released in 2010, with the goal to deliver a rejuvenated image of Africa and Africans.
Crushed Guava Leaves is Oroma Elewa’s second creative project, conceptualized after a shift to
performance as medium for visual discourse which explore transnational cultural experiences and
how these experiences impact identity, thought, expression, and behavior. She completed these
paintings over several weeks while at home in Marrakech.
Pieces being interpreted:

let me talk!
let me feel!
let me!

let me scream!
let me murmur under my
let me place my hand
under my chin.
let me cry!
let me wallow in my

let me wallow!
let me cry!
let me cry!

I am tired.

(Excerpt from ‘I WAS BORN POOR’ from Crushed Guava Leaves)

3’3 x 4 ft
Mixed Media on Canvas

Acrylic on canvas