Thursday 22 September 2011


Bold, self-taught ladies of the canvas
First published May 13-18, 2007)

THEY have acquired the skill of strokes and shades under non-formal tutorial settings.
Determined they are, even though they are not at the fore front of the gallery yet. These female artists do have skills.
Tosin Jegede
Hold it! This is not about a group of self-taught painters raising a parallel association to challenge anyone. In fact, they probably never met, and perhaps don’t even know one another beyond whatever each must have heard or read about the other.
  Some of them are familiar names while others are just trying to launch themselves into the scene. Meet the artists: Peju Alatishe, Tosin Jegede, Abi Adeyemi and May Ikeora.
  These young ladies may not be the only self-taught female artists here, but each has, in the last one year, either made a debut on the art gallery scene with some noticeable statements or consolidated on past achievements.
  ALATISHE, a trained architect, is the oldest on the scene, having made her solo debut in 2001. Gifted in craft and painting, she made her last group outing with some of the leading names of the canvas in the show, Diversity. The event, sponsored by Elf Petroleum, held last year, also featured Olu Amoda, Ndidi Dike, Duke Asidere, Ben Osaghae and Ebong Ekwere among others. Alatishe was the only self-taught artist in the top-rated nine-artists group show.
  African Heritage at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho (1997), Reflex, Made in Nigeria, South Africa (2004) and Guinness Nigeria Calendar Exhibition (2004) are some of Alatishe’s group credits, while her solo outings between 2001 and 2004 include Oge, Beauty of African Women, Jigida Part 1 and Art and the Coffee Table, an exhibition of paintings, sculpture, beading, textile and metal work ornamental furniture.
Alatishe, a graduate of LAUTECH,  is also a writer to watch. Her first novel, Orita Meta (The Crossroad), has received very good comments from critics and sundry readers.

ADEYEMI, on her part, is a United Kingdom-based abstract artist, who is gradually relocating back home after making her debut group appearance at home in the show, Rays of Masters, held at Pan African University, Ajah, Lagos, late last year.
May Ikeora
A U.K.-trained marketer, her first outing involved works of big names such as Jimoh Buraimoh, Kridz Ikwuemesi, Ini Brown, Rufus Ogundele, Ndidi Dike, Edosa Oguigo and Uche Okeke, to mention a few.
  Adeyemi’s works are a blend of African and European concepts, a creative perspective of the beauty in cross culture art.
 She has about five shows outside Nigeria to her credit. In addition to her debut group here, she launched her clothing line simply called Abi in London recently. Her outings in the UK include Music, Records and African Crafts Fair IV, South London and International Women’s Heritage Exhibition, all in the UK.

JEGEDE, the one-time kid singer in the late 80s, is now a painter also based in the UK. Recently, she made a brief visit home to stage her debut show titled Royalty Art Exhibition.
  With a bias for portraits of the royal and the elite, the theme of Jegede’s debut seemed to suggest that her art may not be diverse. But that event held in Abuja revealed otherwise. The artist is in fact, a good abstract painter. She has a lot to offer in the genre.
  The show, which was held at the Peace Mission Hall, had about 350 works on display.
  Jegede read Business Decision Analysis at the University of West England, UK. 
  IKEORA, former Miss ECOWAS 2004/2005, made a debut with a solo show, My Passion for Life, at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos, also last year.

Abi Adeyemi
   A realism painter, one of her presentations at the event, a nude, periodic dye-tone piece of a lady, entitled The Bold and the Beautiful, chalk pastel, unveiled a rare quality for a self-taught debutant at the nation's crowded art gallery scene.
  Ikeora is a graduate of Psychology from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Anambra State.
  As a reiging beauty queen, 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 and Liberian elections in 2005.

THE list of artists in this breed could be more. Do you see yourself in this picture? Wake up and give a shot. It’s no longer a man’s world, is it?

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