Esiri Erheriene-Essi (b. 1982 in London, England) is a painter of predominately mid to large-scale figurative paintings. A huge part of her practice entails collecting and creating an archive of material, which could potentially become incorporated into her work. She is interested a great deal by history – in particularly images, objects, and documents which we can return to, in order to examine both individual and shared memories and histories. She doesn’t look at history as something that refers only to the past, on the contrary, she sees history as a great and forcible power that we all unconsciously carry within us, are controlled by in many ways and are present in all that we do. Because it is through history that we build our identities and our knowledge, frame our references, question our aspirations and form our points of view.
The archive is important to her, as it is through these links that she continuously questions and plays with the order, discrepancies, the silences, the interruptions and the assaults of the historical narrative. With hindsight, bias and curiosity she takes these silences and discrepancies, brings them up to the surface to re-edit the narrative continually in the hopes of robbing history of some of it’s tyrannical power by recreating new scenarios. Or rather, she is incessantly attempting to re-imagine more humane and liberating narratives than what has gone before, and perhaps slightly change our reading of history in the process.
Esiri Erheriene-Essi lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.