precious okoyomon fills deconsecrated roman church with poisonous flowers and butterflies

precious okoyomon fills deconsecrated roman church with poisonous flowers and butterflies

The Sun Eats Her Children by ARTIST Precious Okoyomon

 

Nigerian-American poet and artist Precious Okoyomon invites us to explore a vibrant installation within Sant’Andrea de Scaphis, a deconsecrated Roman church dating back to the ninth century. Titled The Sun Eats Her Children, the exhibition presents a green oasis resonating with the melodies of nature and enigma. Amidst this setting, a unique array of plants, including Jimson weed, Lantana, Bitter nightshade, and Stinging nettle, come into view. What binds these botanical specimens is their ability to produce poison — a mysterious and potent aspect that unites them in both nature and art.

 

The Sun Eats Her Children captures nature’s paradoxes and makes us think about life’s different sides. Okoyomon finds these plants attractive because they challenge the idea that nature is weak and defenseless. In this case, the flower, often linked with qualities like purity, beauty, fertility, and innocence, loses its conventional connotations and becomes strong, powerful, and impressive.

precious okoyomon adorns ancient roman church with poisonous flowers & black butterflies
all images by Daniele Molajoli, unless stated otherwise| Installation view, Precious Okoyomon: the sun eats her children, Sant’Andrea de Scaphis, 2023

 

 

an exhibition AT Sant’Andrea de Scaphis IN ROME

 

Amid the verdant installation, a stuffed animatronic bear rests gently on its side. The bear alternates between moments of slumber and wakefulness, emitting a terrifying scream upon awakening. Its haunting howl intertwines with the distinct voices of Sadiya Hartman, Okwui Okpokwasili, and Okoyomon, a stark contrast to the melodic strains of Kelsey Lu’s background music. From our vantage point above, we observe the fluffy toy gazing skyward, an almost surrendering posture. Dressed in delicate lace underwear, the bear’s unexpected transformation brings up thoughts of forbidden and unusual emotions tied to our earliest memories of youth.

 

Within the context of The Sun Eats Her Children, the artist incorporates a multitude of black butterflies that gradually become integral to the show. These butterflies inhabit the church space throughout the duration of the exhibit, going through their life cycle of living, reproducing, and eventually dying.

precious okoyomon adorns ancient roman church with poisonous flowers & black butterflies
amidst the verdant installation, a stuffed animatronic bear rests gently on its side

precious okoyomon adorns ancient roman church with poisonous flowers & black butterflies
the bear shifts between periods of sleep and wakefulness, releasing a scream when it wakes up

precious okoyomon adorns ancient roman church with poisonous flowers & black butterflies
Jimson weed, Lantana, Bitter nightshade, and Stinging nettle blooms within the church

precious okoyomon adorns ancient roman church with poisonous flowers & black butterflies
the common characteristic that binds these botanical specimens is their ability to produce poison

precious-okoyomon-ancient-roman-church-poisonous-flowers-black-butterflies-designboom-21800

the exhibition challenges the idea that nature is volnurable

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