Mixed Media Textile

You're Not A Team Player

Artist: Moteniola Ogundipe
Materials: Dharma dye, embroidery floss, cotton cloth, Heat n Bond, salt, soda ash
Tools: Adobe Illustrator, embroidery software, sewing machine
Current Exhibition: Michigan Legislature

Artist Statement

In my artwork, I aim to share my experiences of navigating society through the lens of my visible and implied identities including, gender, race, and personhood. You’re Not A Team Player embodies how these identities function in a society that does not harbor good intentions towards them. The piece's fluorescent background with lapses of depressed and subdued color highlights the instability of the environments that we are forced to operate in often with rewards that do not reconcile the blow of racism. On the edges of You’re Not A Team Player there are hands moving towards the black female figure and depending on your experiences within society those faceless and bodiless hands could be moving closer to aid in your defense or inhibit your success.

Against an agitated crimson and black background, there is an abstracted black female figure in a catcher’s stance with an unreadable yet neutral expression. The black figure is in the catcher's stance waiting to receive what may come toward her. She is waiting but is on guard armed with the knowledge that there are some things she may receive when all who surround her are playing a game in which she serves one purpose.

When people interpret discrimination, certain cues signal that a transgression is offensive to the parties involved, including the aggressor and the victim. In the case of Black women, there is a type of oppression that targets every facet of their external identity. This type of discrimination is coined as misogynoir and is influenced by the idea of triple oppression. Others do not always see the discrimination, but it is felt by Black women who are not team players.

The Process

You're Not A Team Player was created over the course of three weeks for multiple hours per day. The process began with selecting a color palette, formulating the corresponding dye pigment combinations, sketching different concepts, creating patterns from the final sketch, dyeing the fabric, cutting each element, and sewing the piece together.


The fabric was first dyed red, then it was hand pleated, wound with embroidery floss, and dip-dyed in Black dye to achieve the slight gray-Black gradient.


The assembly required proper measurement and placement on the background fabric. The elements in the foreground were adhered using applied heat and steam over a pressing sheet to lessen the chance of burning.