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BEYOND FUNCTIONS ll: AN ART EXHIBITION

By: Mathew B. Oyedele

A couple of days ago, Ato Arinze and Djakou Kassi Nathalie opened their joint exhibition at the Quintessence Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos and the exhibition runs till 24th of June. The works that are presented in this show offers a marked contrast and deviation from the functionality label that is consciously or unconsciously tagged on ceramics.
Ato and Nathalie's works are strongly different in content and style. Born in Cameroun, Nathalie lived and taught in Cameroun before coming to Nigeria some years ago. Ato schooled in the southwestern and southeastern parts of Nigeria respectively.The fact that they both grew up in different environments have major influences on their works.
For Ato, the Nigerian landscape offers an array of opportunity to define and conceptualize his art. He alludes to socio-political situations with simple shapes and sound contents. Nathalie's works neither questions nor comment on socio-political happenings - spontaneity and primacy …
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Eyayu Genet: An Artist of National Consciousness

This writer cannot but start by narrating his first encounter with Eyayu Genet’s painting. It was an encounter of a colourful and intense communication.
On this day, I went through my notifications, my messages and back to my timeline. While scrolling through my timeline, a frame of colours hit my retina with a forceful iridescence that made me pause for minutes; I had stumbled on a painting. I later saved the painting for subsequent examination and appreciation.
Reading into its iconography was strenuous but the formal analysis of the painting wouldn’t let you give up on it. The dominant form in the painting occupies the right side of the frame and the only vivid image I could see is an image of a head of a cow whose horns reaches to the sky. There is a house at the left-foreground of the painting that stands apart from the rest of the images and the interplay of warm and cool colours offer a perspective visage into the painting.
“In that painting, I am talking about Independence, f…

MONSUR AWOTUNDE: FRAGMENTS OF DISPLACEMENT

By Chinezim Moghalu
“It is a visual information about the struggles to survive, missions of making marks and the eventual probable failure and success of the foreigners abroad.” - Monsur Awotunde, (Nihin Lohun Catalogue 2017)
August 13-17, 2017, witnessed “Nihin Lohun (Here and There)”, a solo art exhibition by Awotunde Monsur, at Rele Art Gallery, 5 Military street, Onikan, Lagos, Nigeria.
The exhibition was a sojourner’s narrative which ushered manifestations of the artist’s lived experiences within a decade of shared occupancy between his native Nigeria and United Kingdom. A visual essay and compendium about the fleetingly sheer, ambiguous and arbitrary happenings encountered upon his immigration- and reflection of the eclectic and complex moments within “there” and “here”. The four day event afforded one an encounter with subtle, yet forcefully compelling paintings that highlighted the artist’s commentary.
Within the context of the exhibition, Awotunde presented aficionados with…

Domestic Violence: A Photographer’s Narrative

The violence in Ifaka Jesse’s photographs is raw, dramatic, intense and expressive. They are a reflection of the societal rumbles that occupies the pages of newspapers, screens of televisions and social media walls.
He explores social commentaries by listening to social banters and maelstroms in his environment. Jesse, whose works are born out of his passion for the oppressed persons in the society, found out that the society has become comfortable with oppression and humiliation as domestic violence shows no sign of abating. “I once saw a young couple living as rivals under the same roof and nobody said anything,” he says.
In the photographs, we see a lot of actions- a hand holds a female victim by the mouth, two hands strangles a female victim by the neck, a foot stands on a female face, an all-men fighting scene and a man strangling another man. They look like they have been stripped out of a movie. If a spectator pays attention, he can begin to identify the repetition of a subje…

NSUKKA SCHOOL AFTER 50 YEARS: A VIEW FROM MY VANTAGE

By: Chinezim Moghalu Chris
History. Memory. Futurism.
As regards “Nsukka School”, the first connotes threshold; the nucleus, reminiscence and experience; the last, a coalescing of aspirations, hope, achievements and manifestations from the present- coupled with acknowledgement of the obvious challenges that escort them.
Nsukka School (the department of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Nigeria, Nsukka) after fifty years, have witnessed a robust history which formally spans fifty-six years. In this trajectory, vast significant events and remarkable landmarks have taken place, which becomes rehashing and exhaustible to list. The Art School has effortfully and resolutely survived, in a radically and bold undertone, the coastal and tidal waves that polices an Art School with an ancestral creative ideology, philosophy and pedagogy which opposes and confronts Western art pedagogy- the Uli aesthetics.
In like manner, “Nkoli Ka” (recalling is greatest), becomes a veritable backdrop throu…

The palette of Uzoma Samuel

His studio walls were barely empty except for a painting that drapes a corner of the studio. He was working on a portrait of two women who wore bright expressions on their faces. I was about to ask him why his works were not on display when he delved into a corner of his studio and took me on a voyage of ankara interaction. I could not refuse the captivating rhythm that encapsulated my mind from his artistic oeuvre.

I came across his works through the social media and I was attracted by his intricate use of Ankara as a medium of expression. I studied his works as he uploaded them at intervals and made an appointment to visit him in his studio. “My use of ankara is something that came from the blood. It was a gift from my mother. I think she passed that gift to me indirectly. Instead of me becoming a tailor, I see myself sewing those clothes on canvas”; this was his response when I asked him about his discovery of the medium.

Uzoma is not a social commentator or a voyeur. He position…

Soulfulness: Thirteen Artists, One Exhibition.

Walking into the Quintessence Gallery for the Soulfulness exhibition I was greeted by a host of decorative items that almost made me ask if I was at the right venue. I lingered between the displayed crafts long enough to observe a detour through the staircase at the western side of the hall. Curiously, I joined the detour and listened as one of the artists took the chairman of the exhibition on a voyage of artistic interaction.

I tarried on the staircase as I perused the works by a group of artists who cohered to engage in consistent research and inquiries into the realm of robust visual images with boarderless outcomes. I noticed a melting pot of artistic discourse as well as a potpourri of diverse content. Diversity however is appreciated when large volumes of content, thematic approach and subject matters are explored in a single exhibition of many artists.
The leader of the group, Kunle Adeyemi projects the unending movement of destiny in the growth and development of manin “Wh…