Saturday 20 August 2011

May Ikeora

May Ikeora…From Catwalk to the Canvas
Sunday, 26 March, 2006 16:40

ALTHOUGH they are genres from two ends of the arts, what appears to unify beauty pageant and painting is May Ikeora — Miss ECOWAS 2004/2005.
 Ikeora’s debut exhibition, My Passion for Life, which ended recently at Terra Culture, Victoria Island, Lagos, featured both paintings and drawings.
  Unapologetic about being a "self-taught artist", Ikeora says she started to draw at a tender age for leisure. "I never planned to take it this far but I loved what I was doing. I started with making comics, storybooks then drawing houses, making some interesting things with clay, animal skin and so on.  All I can say is that I kept trying everything for my pleasure. And as people around me started making it commercial, I accepted it that way.  But frankly speaking, it's more of my pleasure than a money thing."
  Though imperfection in strokes and proportion could be noticed in some of her works, they do not erase the fact that Ikeora has a rich deposit of talent in her person and a physique which towers at six-feet. However, whatever she loses in drawings, Ikeora has, abundantly, in her colour application.
  Her abstract work, Life is a Puzzle, acrylic on canvas, a cube-piece of multicolour is so alive that one would think it is one of those backlit signposts at night.
  Also, a nude, periodic monochrome piece of a lady, entitled The Bold and the Beautiful, chalk pastel, expresses qualities associated with Victorian time arts. Again, Ikeora makes the best of her painting skill.
But what could so attract a female artist about the female anatomy that she devotes as many as four paintings in a debut exhibition? 
  "I like to draw female figures a lot, maybe because of the runway experience. I just love it because it is one art in me that will never stop. Women are indeed beautiful," she says.
And at what point did she think 'yes an artist has arrived'?
May Ikeora
  "Well, I did not start calling myself an artist until some older artists, who are good, started to call me one. But whatever, I love to draw, whether I am called an artist or not. The toga does not make me any better."
   She is not so complacent; ready to learn. She actually started feeling like a real artist about five years ago, after getting people’s assessment of her works. 
  "I can only get better. Most artists I have met also made me know it was time for me to have an exhibition. Artists like Osahenye Kainebi, Okey Nwankwo, Balumba, Jawando, some fine arts lecturers, gallery owners, people generally, lots of artists I cannot remember their names. They encouraged me to this point."
  Aware of the domination of the visual art scene in the country by academics and certificated artists, the beauty queen says she is yet to decide whether to go back to school for back-up to her talent. "Well I don't know yet. I have been thinking about it. But I think more of attending workshops and courses than a degree in fine art," she said.
  And more important on her agenda is a book project that looks at pageants from art perspective, she said, but "it might take longer."
  Ikeora’s expression is pregnant with ambition that is strong enough to enlist her in the books of the masters in the closest future.
  Born in Lagos, but of Anambra State origin, Ikeora started her secondary school from Nigeria Premier College, Lagos, but finished at Queen of the Rosary College, Onitsha. She is a graduate of Psychology from Nnamdi  Azikiwe University, Anambra State.
  She was the projects manager, ECOWAS Care Foundation, West Africa, 2004- 2005, co-ordinator, Centre For Women And Girl-Child Initiative, Lagos, Nigeria, 2005.
  As the international observer West Africa Civil Society Forum (WACSOF), she was part of the mission to Guinea-Bissau elections and Liberian elections in 2005.


1 comment:

  1. well she is now working towards being a legend,to her May:whyz dat we dnt know u in our village,cos is not as if ur old or what?