šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square

North of the Vancouver Art Gallery

The Spirit Child

Odera Igbokwe

Ethnicity

The spirit child is the purest version of ourselves. They represent the inner child that roams freely between the physical and spiritual realm. They freely jump from the precipice to start new journeys, knowing they are protected by the embrace of Spirit and the guidance of their astral companions. Whether that means falling into physical embodiment, or floating upwards into the collective cosmos, The Spirit Child is relentless in their need to explore, imagine, and play.

The Spirit Child is a reminder that new beginnings are always possible, that we contain multitudes, and finding yourself is as simple as honouring your journey.

Odera Igbokwe (They/Them) is an illustrator and painter located on the unceded and traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Odera loves to explore storytelling through mythology, reclamations, and transformations. Their work is a celebration of the fullness of self, the power to envision, and fantasy as a gateway to healing from collective and generational traumas.

Odera was born of Nigerian parents who immigrated to the United States, and as a result their work explores the magic of the Black Queer imagination, and responds to the fractures that occur via diaspora and displacement. Ultimately their paintings celebrate joy, mundanity, and fantasy coexisting alongside pain and healing.  As an artist and illustrator, Odera works with clients and galleries to create work that is deeply personal, soulful, and intersectional.

Odera holds a BFA in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design and studied West African Dance Movement and Theatre Arts at Brown University with New Works/World Traditions. Their work has featured in exhibitions, publishing, and gaming. Recent collaborations and exhibitions include working with Scholastic, HarperCollins, Twitter, Patreon, Vancouver Art Gallery, Museum of Anthropology at UBC, and Holt Renfrew.

The Lantern City is grateful to be held on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam Indian Band), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish Nation), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation). We acknowledge our privilege to be gathered on this land, and commit to work with and be respectful to the Indigenous peoples whose arts and stories inspire us to bring communities together.