Born in 1975, Peju Alatise is an interdisciplinary artist and architect and the author of two novels , a member at the National museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, and also the founder of the non-profit foundation, ANAI Foundation.

Peju Alatise is amazing, and here are 5 reasons why she’s our BL woman of the month.

She’s Accomplished

Peju has experienced a long spell of success in her career. She is a fellow of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, and the 2017 winner of the FNB Art Prize.

She represented Nigeria at the Venice Biennale in 2017. Other recent exhibitions include Manifesta 12, Palermo (2018); the EVA Biennial, Ireland (2018); and the Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art (2017). .

Peju is winning continuously, and she’s showing no signs of slowing down.

She Proves that Being as Artist is a Viable Career

Orange Scarf Goes to Heaven by Peju Alatise

Peju is one of the leading contemporary artists on the African continent and an inspiration to many young artists.

Gone are the days when being an artist isn’t considered a viable career, and it is artists like Peju that have changed these perceptions and paved the way for the younger generation. The artist originally faced opposition to her chosen career. Her father saw art as a waste of time, preferring that his daughter pursue what he perceived as a more economically stable profession.

  • In 2011, Ascension sold for $25,720.
  • In 2012, Orange Scarf Goes to Heaven sold for $29,448 at Bonham’s Africa.
  • Also in 2012 , ‘Inside They Are Broken’ sold for $16,404 at ArtHouse Contemporary Ltd.
  • In 2014, ‘See Me’ sold for $20,978 at Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary African Art.
  • In 2015, her sculpture ‘High Horses’ was sold for $47,971 at Bonham’s Africa Now.

And the list goes on, she’s proven that the life of an artist can be quite comfortable.

She is a Writer

Peju Alatise is an author of two novels – Orita Meta and Silifat.

Her debut novel Orita Meta, chronicling the interwoven path of three women, was nominated for the ANA/Flora Nwapa Prize for Women’s Writing in 2006. Her second novel, Silifat is an anthology of photographs, paintings, famous quotes, and short stories.

She is a Multitalented

Peju trained and practiced as an architect, is a writer and a interdisciplinary artist, who combines an art form with other visual or performing arts, the liberal arts, technology and/or social or political activism. Peju has been consistent with her experimentation with materials and techniques as a medium to analyse various socio-political issues. Peju speaks to the condition of women and girls in hyper-patriarchal Nigeria, where forced marriages and kidnappings are not uncommon.

has also been an influential voice on the Child Not Bride campaign in Nigeria, with her work regularly feeding into this discourse. 

She’s Impact Oriented

Flying Girls, an art installation by Peju Alatise that addresses issues affecting the girl child in Nigeria

Peju’s works challenge the status quo of African society and global affairs, and is characterised by consistent experimentation with materials and techniques for socio-political purposes. Alatise has also been an influential voice in Nigeria’s ‘Child Not Bride’ campaign, with her work often feeding into this discourse. Her work incorporates non-traditional materials and processes that form a chain of metaphors and narrative associations, often blending traditional Yoruba mythology with contemporary global concerns.

In 2018, Alatise established the Alter’NATIVE Artist Initiative(ANAI) Foundation in Lagos. A non-profit foundation dedicated to the development of visual arts in Nigeria, and the first purpose built artist’s residency with a well-equipped ceramic studio, which offers sponsored training programs for ceramic artists.

Sources: bonhams.com, pejualatise.com, Aljazeera

Posted by:Sarah Usman