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Funlola Coker. State University of New York at New Paltz. New Talents Award Nominee 2022

Article  /  NewTalentsByKlimt02   Artists
Published: 08.12.2022
Funlola Coker Funlola Coker
Author:
State University of New York at New Paltz
Edited by:
Klimt02
Edited at:
Barcelona
Edited on:
2022
.

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
The 8th edition of the New Talents Award by Klimt02 aims to recognize the work of graduate students in our field by supporting their careers in the professional world. Nominated by our school members, one of the selected graduates will win the New Talents Award.

Funlola employs process and material as metaphor, subtly hinting at personal and cultural narratives through abstraction. With a clear vision—Funlola crafted a complete environment which offers intimate objects a certain aura or presence through sensitivity to display.
 
Name of graduation student: Funlola Coker
Name of guiding teachers: Lynn Batchelder & Myra Mimlitsch-Gray

Nominated by State University of New York at New Paltz



Through this work, "Slippery Spaces", Funlola Coker investigates important themes of identity, loss, and belonging. The installation engages the audience in a type of surreal or in-between space—for the artist, it represents somewhere between their Nigerian past and their current life in the United States. Funlola employs process and material as metaphor, subtly hinting at personal and cultural narratives through abstraction. With a clear vision—Funlola crafted a complete environment which offers intimate objects a certain aura or presence through sensitivity to display. The deftly composed pieces feel both concrete and dreamy—metal works are literally grounded atop earthen plinths yet seem to defy gravity through formal and material fictions. Each work presents a new curiosity, and collectively in the exhibition they lead the viewer down an uncanny path, wandering upon strange markers or evidence. Objects frozen in space, impressions, and markings prompt a sense of someone having been there, as if to say "you’re not alone".
/ Associate Professor Lynn Batchelder


The statement of the artist:
What happens when your context for remembering is six thousand miles away? Immigrants experience this phenomenon of liminality every day. We are time travelers, aliens, and others. We live in the past while navigating the present. I construct objects and settings as portals that address this loss.

We remember by way of texture. Marks and patterns can recover an obscure past. Molten pewter fills the void of carved marks. Chiseled stone becomes an anchor for weighted memories. The shifting, slippery spaces in the vastness of our minds become moments of solace.
The overarching themes of my research are recollection, imagination, and the surreal. We escape to imagination to connect to our pasts, to rest and retreat from reality. In our daydreams, we travel through our minds and into unseen spaces that can no longer be touched. As an immigrant from Lagos, Nigeria, I recall our family’s past in place and time, and I am drawn to construct objects and spaces that connect me to those lost memories. Although this body of work is born from my personal experience, the concept of displacement, loss, and longing is familiar to so many.

This body of work started as an investigation of materials– monotonous and intensive processes such as carving, chiseling, braiding, hammering and fabricating. This approach to making allows me to work in response to my materials. When pouring wax or pewter into an open mould, I allow the material to flow where it wants, with minimal influence from the hand. By doing this, there is room for the materials to breathe their own life into the work. Through direct material experimentation, accidents occur, and I embrace them: rips and tears become revelations, spills are celebrated and evolve into an assertive language within the work. Carved lines tell a story of where the hand has been. This carving is meditative, the casting results in a copy of a copy, much like a memory recalled over and over again. Chiseled stone is a reflection of digging and searching. Textured, electroformed objects are the delicate skins of memories out of reach.

Slippery Space|s| is an installation of transportive objects that consider time travel, nostalgia, and what we rebuild in our minds when loss overwhelms. These objects are wayfinders - tools of navigation that allow me to travel back into the recesses of my mind. The viewer is invited to walk through this constructed space and engage these abstract objects. Exploring personal myths through narrative objects becomes a means of repairing feelings of displacement as a result of immigration. Through abstraction, these works evoke feelings of the familiar.



Contact:
Email: funcoker@gmail.com
Website: https://www.funlolacoker.com/
Phone: (770) 743-0682

Find out more about University of New York at New Paltz
 
Funlola Coker. Object: Ailopin, 2022. Copper, alabaster, foam, foam coat, sand, paint.. 26.5 x 27.5 x 7.5 cm. Photo by: Funlola Coker. From series: Slippery Spaces. Funlola Coker
Object: Ailopin, 2022
Copper, alabaster, foam, foam coat, sand, paint.
26.5 x 27.5 x 7.5 cm
Photo by: Funlola Coker
From series: Slippery Spaces
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Funlola Coker. Object: Ailopin, 2022. Copper, alabaster, foam, foam coat, sand, paint.. 26.5 x 27.5 x 7.5 cm. Photo by: Funlola Coker. From series: Slippery Spaces. Alternative view.. Funlola Coker
Object: Ailopin, 2022
Copper, alabaster, foam, foam coat, sand, paint.
26.5 x 27.5 x 7.5 cm
Photo by: Funlola Coker
From series: Slippery Spaces

Alternative view.

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Funlola Coker. Object: Asan, 2022. Copper, alabaster, foam, foam coat, sand, paint.. 12 x 21 x 14 cm. Photo by: Funlola Coker. From series: Slippery Spaces. Funlola Coker
Object: Asan, 2022
Copper, alabaster, foam, foam coat, sand, paint.
12 x 21 x 14 cm
Photo by: Funlola Coker
From series: Slippery Spaces
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Funlola Coker. Object: Eemi, 2022. Pewter, foam, foam coat, sand, paint.. 23 x 32 x 11.5 cm. Photo by: Funlola Coker. From series: Slippery Spaces. Funlola Coker
Object: Eemi, 2022
Pewter, foam, foam coat, sand, paint.
23 x 32 x 11.5 cm
Photo by: Funlola Coker
From series: Slippery Spaces
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Funlola Coker. Object: Igba, 2022. Copper, alabaster, foam, foam coat, sand, paint.. 35 x 39.5 x 24.5 cm. Photo by: Funlola Coker. From series: Slippery Spaces. Funlola Coker
Object: Igba, 2022
Copper, alabaster, foam, foam coat, sand, paint.
35 x 39.5 x 24.5 cm
Photo by: Funlola Coker
From series: Slippery Spaces
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
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