Bukola Koiki

Bukola Koiki

She // Her // Hers

[ID: A headshot of a Nigerian-American woman taken against a white background. She has deep brown skin, a coily, close-cropped salt-and-pepper afro, and is smiling directly at the camera. She is wearing a soft black cardigan over a yellow knit sweater, a pair of thin gold hoop earrings, and a delicate gold necklace.]

Portrait photo by Chanel M. Lewis.

Conceptual Fiber Artist
Portland, ME
2023 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by the Barr Foundation.

Bukola Koiki is a Nigerian-American conceptual fiber artist and educator known for the depth of material curiosity and technical research in her practice. A first-generation immigrant with several intersecting identities, Koiki interprets the world and the complexities of the contemporary Black experience through the lens of a trained designer-turned-craftsperson and from a liminal existence between nations, gender, and culture. In her work, she employs natural and manufactured fibers, printmaking techniques, video performance, and other mediums to interrogate homesickness, rites of passage, diasporic Yoruba culture, transnational linguistic phenomena, the British colonization of Nigeria, and more. Her multidimensional fiber works include — amongst other innovations — hand-pulled prints rendered with embroidered collagraph plates, giant handmade and hand-dyed paper beads employing Nigerian hair threading techniques, and indigo-dyed and hand-printed Tyvek head ties.

She received her MFA in Applied Craft + Design from the Pacific Northwest College of Art and her BFA in Communication Design from the University of North Texas. She has exhibited nationally, including in Chicago and Portland, OR. In 2019 she was named a Shortlist Finalist for the American Craft Council’s Emerging Voices Award and nominated for the Textile Society of America’s Brandford/Elliott Award in the same year. In Winter/Spring 2022, she was the Inaugural Artist in Residence and Lecturer in Humanities at Bates College in Lewiston, ME and a summer Artist in Residence at the Hambidge Center in Rabun Gap, GA. Koiki’s work has been featured in American Craft and Surface Design magazines and on NPR.
  • Artwork by Bukola Koiki
    The Pull, 2021. Natural pigment paint, ink, and embroidery on Nigerian gele head tie, dimensions 11 × 9.75 × 12.5 inches. Photo courtesy of the artist.
    [ID: A photo of two house-like forms, one black and one red, folded origami-style from Nigerian head ties with a red strand connecting them. The house form on the left is patterned subtly with tiny oval leaves and red embroidered text, and the form on the right is covered in hand-drawn lines.]
  • Artwork by Bukola Koiki
    The Nigeria Handbook Series 2. Black carbon ink collagraph print on cotton BFK Rives printmaking paper, dimensions 30 × 22 inches. Photo courtesy of the artist.
    [ID: A black-and-white image of a cloth drawstring back with words embroidered on it. The text reads "Barclay's Bank, (Dominion, colonial, and overseas), Formerly the Colonial Bank, Capital authorized 10,000,000 pounds, incorporated by royal charter 1836." Most of the text is just an outline and has a line striking through, however certain words are emphasized and unbroken including "Barclay's Bank, formerly, 10,000,000 pounds, and 1836."]
  • Artwork by Bukola Koiki
    I Claim That Which Was Never Mine, Tyvek Gele 1, 2014. Tyvek, natural indigo dye, cotton thread, dimensions 10.5 × 9.7 × 9 inches. Photo courtesy of the artist.
    [ID: Photo of a piece of blue-dyed fabric, wound and folded around itself to form a sinuous, crownlike shape reminiscent of a Nigerian gele or head tie worn by Yoruba women. The dye is uneven and darker in some spots than others, showing a gently wrinkled texture.]
Artwork by Bukola Koiki Artwork by Bukola Koiki Artwork by Bukola Koiki