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!


Subscribe to my newsletter! Receive updates on upcoming shows, works in progress, and whatever else I've been up to.
Thank you!
Something went wrong. Please try again.
Using Format