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Fashion (MA)

Mary Ebunoluwa Lucas-Afolalu

Mary Ebunoluwa Lucas-Afolalu is a sculptor who works to pursue a narrative that reaches the apex between the physical and digital realms. Born and raised in South London and Essex, she extracts heavily from her identity and experiences.

For the last year, she has been investigating space and its relationship to occupation, culture and perception. She manipulated the physicality of fabrics with sculptures, then transformed them with 3D programs such as Cinema 4D, Clo 3D and Gravity Sketch. Contrasting and intertwining the physical and digital worlds to create that which transcends the limitations of being a designer.

Mary is a recipient of the RCA Sir Frank Bowling Scholarship for Black Students. She was selected to be part of an RCA x Snapchat initiative, where she collaborates with classmates to use new technologies to help connect people to nature.

Previously she graduated from the London College of Fashion with a degree in Fashion Design and Technology, specialising in Menswear and has experience in the fashion industry working for suppliers and brands.

Her main themes include culture, space, perspective and kinetic flow. She will continue to develop a practice filled with an abundance of celebration and care for her communities.

Black cloth sculpture of woman with wire mesh face, torso and groin, slouching in the corner. black and white photo

Ori Eni L’Eleda Eni meaning one's head is one's creator in Yoruba culture, great importance is placed around the head. The Gele, Protective Hairstyles and her Ancestors all played a part in the sculptures, while texture and perception were integral themes in Mary's digital development. 

She had a beautiful experience while wearing a Gele (a Nigerian headdress). She reflected upon not only the shapes created and the spaces it occupies around the head but also the feeling when it’s worn. Adornment, community, protection and closeness were felt when she wore the Gele and a home was created with this headpiece. Wrapped together with care and celebration, particularly for black women, she wanted to re-create that feeling.

Like a dance often with her own body, she chooses to use or abandon it to focus on the mind in her practice. She re-creates intimate moments and experiences that resonate with her soul and seeks to ask questions with her work, wondering ‘what if?’ and ‘Why not’ in this world and the times we live in.

Public exhibitions, video games, entertainment industry, interiors. Building a world for people to enter and interact with in many different ways and mediums, her work could appear anywhere as long as the values that are important to Mary are present. Values such as constantly questioning reality, continuously referencing her identity, culture and Individuality, and always working with play and care. Points of interaction and celebrating her communities are also key aspects of her practice.

Wire mesh manipulated and sculpted to look like fabric
Layers of lace printed on clear sheets of acetate
Three black lace sculptures, suspended in the air.
Black lace sculpture, suspended in the air, next to Black lace headwrap sculpture draped on top of red male mannequin
Black lace sculpture, moulded to the shape of a headscarf and flowing in front of a white background.
Text saying one's head is one's creator
Two black lace sculptures, one standing close to a white wall while the other is cut off in the foreground.
3D model of a scanned sculpture clones many times and scattered across the screen
A pole wrapped in used protective style hairs.
Black string in a pile on top of a reflective floor
3D model of scanned sculpture with Braids flying through and around piece
3d model character dancing next to a planer symmetrical
working progress snippets. Two white 3d models manipulated using symmetry
3d models manipulated to look like mini explosions
3d model exploion in white specks
Black 3d Model specs
previous image now in metallic multicolours, green, brown blue and silver
3d model in metallic pink purple and silver
Black pleated fabric with a blue spot light shining on top and a pink light shining from the back
Black fabric sculpture with pink and blue lights.
wires on the floor with a faded pink and white light reflecting of the floor.

Sir Frank Bowling Black Scholarship