Hello! My name is Inyang Essien and I am a visual artist working in the mediums of photography and digital media based in Dallas, Texas. 

I greatly appreciate the forgotten history of marginalized cultures and the ongoing transformation that accompanies coming into one’s identity. I strive to amplify these perspectives through my photography and place special emphasis on sharing stories that promote celebration of these backgrounds.

Currently, my work consists of photographic series that speak to the perspectives of individuals from various backgrounds. My parents heavily encouraged us to embrace and respect all cultures from those we encounter. It became important for me to share stories of those who are often overlooked. Common themes in my work include the vibrant history present truth of Black people, varying culture across ethnicities, exploration of identity, and topics surrounding sexuality.

Through Idet, my goal for viewers is to appreciate the dynamics of Nigerian culture as it relates to hair and understand their relevance today. Capitalizing on the flexibility and strength of Black hair, hair thread is used to manipulate the hair into unique styles. I chose to complement this threaded Nigerian hairstyle with a vibrant backdrop of Ankara -- a wax-style textile popular among African cultures. These hairstyles and textiles vary in meaning -- some are specific to a particular region or the status that a woman holds.

Reflections is a photo essay that aims to highlight the non-conforming gender presentation of queer black women. The series consists of 9 images that fall under a central theme of reflecting upon one’s appearance by using mirrors to display both feminine and masculine presentations.

My hope is that through my work, viewers resonate with those they see in the images and others can develop an appreciation that perhaps was not previously there. 

Thank you for taking the time to view my work!


CV


Education

December 2019 - BA Communications & Technology, UNT Dallas, Dallas, TX


Awards & Honors

2021 - Nasher Artist Grant

2020 - International Photography Awards “Honorable Mention”

2020 - The Fence “Finalist”

2019 - Global Reflections “Third Place”

2019 - 125 Show “First Place” 


Residencies
2021 - Juanita J. Craft Artist Residency


Solo Exhibitions 

2021 - Idet
Dallas Public Library (Virtual), Dallas, TX. 


Group Exhibitions 

2021 - Black Artists in Their Own Realm:
Ideas, Materials and Techniques

Calabar Gallery, New York, NY. 

2021 - What is Black Art
Eaton Hotel, Washington D.C.

2021 - Figurative Art
Dallas Metro Arts Contemporary, Dallas, TX. 

2021 - How We See
Pencil on Paper Gallery, Farmer’s Branch, TX. 

2019 - 35th Annual International Exhibition
Meadows Gallery, Tyler, TX. 

2019 - Global Reflections
Gallery @ Courtyard, Plano, TX. 

2019 - Migrations
Bath House Cultural Center, Dallas, TX. 

2019 - Show 125
Eisemann Center, Richardson, TX. 

2019 - Solo Showdown
Fort Worth Community Arts Center, FortWorth, TX. 

2019 - Art 214
Moody Performance Hall, Dallas, TX. 

2019 - Art 214
Oak Cliff Cultural Center, Dallas, TX.


Features & Interviews

2020 - Buzzfeed

2019 - Local Profile

2019 - Dallas Voyage.










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