Thursday 15 September 2011

Pastel exhibition (2006)

Fresh phases of pastel artists
First published November 12-18 2006)

CONSISTENTLY, and in the past six years, artists from diverse backgrounds have been brought out to stage shows strictly in the pastel medium. A project of Mydrim Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos, the 6th yearly Pastel Exhibition held at the gallery recently, has confirmed that the medium enjoys strong patronage among artists. The 2006 edition tagged Times and Feelings, had a set of artists whose works were  familiar. For those who are not at home with subjects of fantasy, adventure and other works that are often far off reality, this show might just be the ideal one.
  WITHIN the sphere of the chosen medium, the eight-man show, no doubts, presented works
that could pass for the test of the period and its passion. Samuel Ajobiewe’s Aiye Loja, a reenactment
on canvas, of a marketlike scene, a very detailed piece, relies on shades of colours in different
textiles prints worn by the subjects.
 Also, adding justice to the pastel medium was Kazeem Olojo’s The Nostalgic Feel. Cast in a rural setting, the work is a blend of green against the sunset colour of the skyline.
A long view of houses and other human activities, and a foreground that looks like low grass and road
paths; all whet the appetite. Between Emmanuel Dudu’s He Who Has Ears and Titus Agbara’s
Childhood Memories lie themes of generational distance.

FOR Dudu, the grey hair is wisdom as presented in this unidentified face of a man whose gesture
graphically explained the title of the work. Talking about memories, Agbara’s work may not fall in line
with that childhood period that can actually be remembered, but the piece on children barely three-years-old playing beside a river, is a sure memory of those days that appear more
like fantasy.
In Taiwo Fadare’s Conversation and Christopher Ayaoge’s Colours of Creation, realism is made to look ordinary. Save for the graceful steps of the ladies in iro and buba with gele in Bolaji Babatunde’s Stepping Out, there seemed to be a monotony of expression.
 From Bunmi Oyesanya comes something different in Praise Worship.
 For an exhibition that has showed 26 bigger artists in the past editions, this year’s show, which had a relatively younger set of artists, was a bold step taken by Mydrim.

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