Fashion & Style

Taiye Idahor’s Artwork ‘Òkhùo’ Explores Women and Power through the Iconic Figure of the Iyoba – Mother of the King of Benin City


Taiye Idahor is a visual artist using her artwork to explore subjects on identity and womanhood.

She works within various media like sculpture, collage, drawing, and installation, to express universal and intimate female and African identity within the contexts of history, tradition and globalization.

Born and based in Lagos, Taiye’s recent work, Òkhùo,which was exhibited at Tyburn Gallery in London, traces her heritage to the ancient empire of Benin City.

Through Òkhùo, which means ‘Woman’ in the Bini language, Taiye talks about women and power through the iconic figure of the Iyoba, mother of the king of Benin City.

Taiye’s artwork dates back to the 16th century, during the reign of Oba Esigie, whose mother, Queen Idia is said to have ensured his reign through strength and support.

Òkhùo holds only figurative representations of Benin history. The most prominent of which are coral beads used as symbols of high office and status, a tradition that has continued till the present day.

Through her artwork, Òkhùo, Taiye is calling on women to begin seeing the title of “woman” as powerful in itself, to reclaim the respect that this position entitles them to, and to boldly occupy their place of authority in the world.

In 2007, Taiye graduated from Yaba College of Technology with a Higher National Diploma in Fine Arts, specialising in sculpture.


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