Oya Chronicles: In Conversation with My Mother by Funmi Iyanda – Abimbola Onimole

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Funmi Iyanda - In Conversations With My Mother

So did you die? Funmi Iyanda’s “In Conversation with My Mother” started with these words. From that moment, I was transfixed. I entered a world serene, anguished and intimate; beautifully so actually.

Funmi Iyanda’s dialogue with her mother played to the unique display of the artist Gbolahan Ayoola’s “The Blue Woman”.  The evening also included an interpretative dance inspired by “The Blue Woman”. This display was the essence of the fluid art of movement, by women with their faces painted.

The combination of the spoken word, the power and secrets behind “The Blue Woman” painting and the interpretive dance, managed to transport anyone present into this world of love through dimensions and eternity, of healing and a search for the human that resides in us all.

There was an auction of a single artwork of Gbolahan Ayoola, with the proceeds going to the Khadija Saye Fund, the upcoming artist and photographer who sadly died in the Grenfell Tower fire.

The voices of Funmi Iyanda and her mother were wonderfully spoken by Eleanor Fanyinka, and Holly Joyce. Their reading, tone and inflection brought a certain reality to the written words that had you feeling every emotion in Funmi’s words.

I thoroughly enjoyed this show, it’s an inspirational and hauntingly beautiful merging of different art forms that culmanated in a fascinating night. It succeeded in reminding me africans heritage with art and how much more of it we can use to inspire the world over.

I eagerly await news that this performance will be back and on tour for us all to enjoy and thank all of those involved and bringing such art to life. Watch this space.

The only thing I would change about this was the fact that this beautiful display of combined art held for only one night. This experience that manages to keep you engaged, that talked to your soul, and delivered a fun and lovely night out in London, is one that must be repeated. This event needs to be repeated, if not with a sponsor who recognises the beauty it ensnares you in, then I certainly would gladly start a gofundme bring this show to all.

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