Ernest Obukx Agoba

The Emergency Room Artist


“Torn by Thorns”

“Torn by Thorns” is an oil painting that captures the strength and resilience carried in the personage of the African immigrant child. The painting is reminiscent of a child version of the legendary 12th-century Yoruba story of the woman, ‘Moremi’  who sacrificed her marriage, her son, and even the risk of death to secure the future of the people of Ile-Ife, in Nigeria.  Ernest Agoba infuses the spirit of Moremi in this child painting. He depicts an African girl carrying a reassuring smile while leaning over a menacing barrier of barbed wires. The thorny, spiky wires symbolize the physical and metaphorical boundaries she must overcome in her pursuit of a better life. The girl’s presence is both powerful and poignant, as her innocent yet determined expression contrasts with the stains of blood on her hand. These crimson marks represent the sacrifices and hardships she has endured on her journey toward a bright future. Despite the pains children in Africa are put through, their attitude, like that of this child,  must reflect a profound sense of optimism and a belief that life only gets better with the right types of battles


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