Friday 16 September 2011

Pius and Lillian Remet

Creative link… A family tale in art
(First published Dec 17-23, 2006)

IT takes good personal experience to advocate on subject like family and nation building.
  Painters Pius and Lillian Remet experimented with their career and family. Result of that venture is a recent group exhibition of the works of father, mother and daughter; Onarietta Remet, which was just concluded at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos.
  A family of four, on a bicycle ride in Against All Odds, one of the paintings on display, re-enacts the lives of the exhibiting artists.
  The safety of the riders as a result of weight on the fragile two wheels machine is though the concern of all on board, the success of this journey rests on the shoulders of the head of the team.
  The import of this is that man, first and foremost, has to inspire his family, Pius explains.
  “The struggle to make ends meet, as seen in this painting, is all about using what he has to inspire his family to survive.”
  The painting also has a stronger significance to the subject of the show as it happens to be the only work jointly painted by the couple, in all of the over 50 pieces at the show.
 AFTER struggle comes the fruit of labour as presented in Lillian’s Dance of Victory, gouache on board, and Sojourn. Quite distinct from her husband’s, Lillian’s impressionist takes leap into a three dimension-like presentation in what she calls pointillism.
  Pius’ Insightful Vernacular, an abstraction piece borrows something from the butterfly. The middle, from where the artist divides the work, takes the shape of the butterfly’s abdomen.
  But the beauty for which the insect is known for is missing here. Perhaps it is hidden in the yellow strokes that looks like a defaced or superimposed image behind the insect.
  This is a combination of beauty and its other side, Pius states.
  The butterfly and indeed any other beautiful things of life, the artist explains, is not appreciated without the existence of those ‘ugly’ creatures.
  “If the less attractive insects were not created, the beauty of butterfly would not be appreciated. This is the message of life: if there are no poor people, being wealthy would be less attractive; If we don’t have the lazy ones, hardworking people would not be appreciated; shortcomings of some people compliments the effort of others.” 
  For little Onarietta, the youngest member of the group, her works presented at the show unveil a promising artist.

THE build up to a family of artists is as poetic as the works of the group. After his Higher National Diploma, HND, in Urban and Regional Planning from Yaba College of Technology, Pius found love in designing customised greeting cards from which he started making a living.
  He did not, however, transfer his talent onto the canvas until he met Lillian, a Fine Art graduate of the same school. “After my National Youth Service Corp, I got married and trained in the art, particularly, in the water colour medium by my wife,” Pius discloses. 
  That progression has brought in Onarietta, who, according to the parents, handles paint brush beyond what is expected of an average two and half years old kid. “Every child is endowed given the right environment,” Lillian, the daughter of Ben Odiase, composer of Nigeria’s national anthem, says.
  And when is the environment right?
  “Parental focus,” she adds.
  Over 10 works of Onarietta, just brush strokes, made the show.
  The Remet family’s art exhibition, Creative Link to the Next Generation, brings to the front-burner power in the family bond, which is the bedrock of great nations.

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