As Above, So Below is a bold and powerful tapestry of 100 unique pieces, each portraying Black women in a vibrant array of environments and detailed clothing, deeply inspired by Yinkore's own lived experiences as a Nigerian woman. Made up of 10 clusters, each piece carries a different representation of a lifestage, speaking to the complex relationships we have with ourselves and the emotions associated with our identities.
As Above, So Below: A celebration and exploration of identity
As Above, So Below by Yinkore features 100 completely unique pieces featuring her bold, maximalist style. Originally from Nigeria and a member of the Ijaw tribe, each piece of Yinkore’s work reflects her lived experiences, and also takes an intersectional look at the experiences of Black women around the world. The result is emotional, vibrant, and full of hope.
“More than an artistic style, I have an artistic voice that I was taught to use to advocate for and ultimately resist the silence that people with identities like mine were taught to embrace, in an attempt to secure the portrayal of every identity possible as advancements in art continue.”
Each piece features Black women adorned in beautifully detailed clothing, set on backgrounds full of rich color and texture. Flowers and other plants are featured heavily throughout the collection, giving each piece a sense of softness and ease. “The collection wasn’t generative in a traditional sense, so each piece was drawn, painted, and composed individually,” says Yinkore.
Yinkore created and named the pieces in clusters of 10. When viewed as a whole collection, the works create a cohesive story, with each cluster representing different stages of life. With names like “Self-Care”, “Self-Doubt”, “Self-Discovery”, and “Self-Reliance”, the work speaks to the complex relationships we have with ourselves and the emotions associated with our identities.
“I knew I wanted the collection to be very central to my identity,” says Yinkore. “An easy way to do that is with my appearance. The patterns on the clothing, the hairstyles, and the headgear are all reminiscent of my Nigerian culture, and the background patterns are as well. I just really wanted to showcase some of the versatility I grew up around.”
While this collection is deeply personal for Yinkore, it’s designed for viewers to relate with regardless of what stage of life they are in. “The collection is inspired by my own journey to finding myself and healing from past traumas,” says Yinkore. “It’s just about a lot of different phases you can go through during that time in your life. I had a clear vision right from the start and I think that helped me with the overall execution of the collection.”
Yinkore sets her work apart by combining many different aspects of art and creativity in each piece. Constantly stimulated by new ideas, she found creating a large, cohesive collection to be an exciting new challenge. “I’m someone that gets easily tired of repetitive art, which is why I frequently change the way I create,” she says. “Having to repeat so much in this collection nearly drove me over the edge! That’s dramatic, but it was definitely a challenge, especially towards the later part of the creative process.”
During the creative process, she frequently found herself working in a calm, quiet environment. “Music started to overstimulate me a lot last year, even before this collection, and that’s something I’m still dealing with right now” she says. “A lot of this collection was made in silence or to the sounds of a random show I was binging.” Her sister, who is a traditional painter, was also a huge source of inspiration and support during this project. She collaborated on many of the traits and name of the collection and even posed for some of the characters.
Yinkore’s warm personality is ever-present in each piece of this collection, and viewers will find so many rich patterns hand-painted with love and care. She prides herself on her lively sense of humor and describes herself as “extra”, and that personality jumps off the page.
A vibrant, expressive exploration of life
Hand drawn and full of intricate detail
“More than an artistic style, I have an artistic voice that I was taught to use to advocate for and ultimately resist the silence that people with identities like mine were taught to embrace, in an attempt to secure the portrayal of every identity possible as advancements in art continue,” says Yinkore.