Peju Layiwola

Lagos, Nigeria

The Woman Within

My name is Peju Layiwola, a female sculptor and painter who has been working on the female figure for the past twenty years. I have a B. A. (Hons) degree in Metal Design from the Department of Creative Arts, University of Benin in 1988 and a masters degree in Visual Arts in 1991. I am currently doing a PhD in African Art History.


The portrayal of the female form is the focus of my work. This is so, not necessarily because I am female but because I believe in the innate ability of the woman. The woman

in Africa is plagued by so many obstacles which are derived from the culture itself. Most of my works reflect on issues of survival, discrimination, and poverty as it relates to women in both traditional and contemporary Africa.

The Woman Within (pictured above) reflects on what is discernible from the woman through her actions, utterances and her physical being. What is within the woman? Who is the woman within? Within What? In your minds eye what does a woman symbolize? Sexuality? Beauty? Innocence? Maturity/ or Inner Strength. This piece is meant to evoke in the minds of the viewer what ideas of a woman they might have. The various responses may derive from a culture or an ideology. Actual Size 15 by 18.5’’

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