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Nadine Ijewere and Jawara Wauchope Celebrate Jamaican Hair and Style in New Exhibiton

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Sculptural hair and Jamaican heritage is the focal point of photographer Nadine Ijewere and hairstylist Jawara Wauchope’s new artistic collaboration, now on view at the Cob Gallery in London. Named Tallawah, which means strong-willed and fearless in Jamaican Patois, the exhibition features portraits of Jamaican women across generations that were taken in London and Jamaica. The images celebrate the women’s vibrant and creative style, and how it shapes their personal and cultural identity.

The project was close to both Ijewere and Wauchope, who quickly bonded over their shared Caribbean heritage. Ijewere, who was born and raised in London, is of Jamaican-Nigerian decent, and Wauchope was born in New York and raised in Jamaica until he was 10. Working in fashion, both had also focused on exploring the beauty of natural hair in previous projects.

For Tallawah, it was important for the artists to show their subjects authentically, without the sense of appropriation, stereotyping, or exoticism often applied to Jamaicans. For Wauchope, they embodied the women he grew up around. For Ijewere, it was an opportunity to connect with an innate part of her heritage that could sometimes feel distant after her upbringing in the UK (she had never been to Jamaica prior to working on Tallawah). “I approach any project which is looking at culture and identity differently to other shoots because I always think, think, and think again on how I am documenting them,” Ijewere said. “Throughout history, so many cultures have been mistreated, misrepresented.”

Centering their collaboration around the curled, dyed, crimped, and sculpted hair of the women highlights a cornerstone of Jamaican style. According to Wauchope, “Our hair culture relates to the pride and strength of the Jamaican people and the Jamaican diaspora.”

Tallawah is now on view at Cob Gallery in London through February 3, 2020.


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createdAt:Wed, 29 Jan 2020 21:01:47 +0000
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