Saturday 22 October 2011


Street Art moves to Palmgrove
  BARELY two months after the Duke Asidere-led initiative Street Art took off in Egbeda, a Lagos suburb, the workshop, which has continued to gather momentum, was replicated in Palmgrove.
   Started at Orelope Street, Egbeda, where the convener lives; the Palmgrove outing, held at Shyllon Street, attracted residents, particularly the younger ones, around the community.
   Though turnout on the first day of the three-day event was not impressive, as photographer Uche James Iroha was the only artist that joined Asidere and the host artist, Uchay Joel Chima — who lives on Ebuntoye adjacent to Shyllon Street— the day after, there was a full house.
Painters Sam Ovraiti (left) and Edosa Ogiugo at the street art workshop 
   Edosa Ogiugo’s easel found a place among the other younger artists. Sam Ovraiti had an improvised lap-convenience at the extreme end of the converge as Ejoh Wallace, Joshua Nmesirionye, Bob Nosa-Uwagboe, Adeogun David, Oguntade Bababtunde, Emmanuel Isinwe, Anthony Polo, Ogunsola Kehinde and others, painterly added a mild disturbance to the peace of the street.
  After completing his two miniature pieces rendered in watercolour, which he eventually gave out to a visitor at the workshop, Ovraiti said though the project only came to reality in 2011, the idea of art on the street had been an agenda for him and Asidere since their days as teachers at Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State.
   According to Asidere, the concept has two benefits: to get art closer to the younger ones and the society at large as well as to allow an artist’s immediate community to share his passion.
  “You go out everyday and your neighbour don’t really know what you do for a living. And if you drive clean cars, they might think you are into some questionable businesses,” he says.
  Asidere insists that the forum, Orelope Global Group Workshop, means two things to him: a tribute to a place he has over the past one and half decades strengthened his art and, the period of the gathering, which coincided with his 50th birthday. 
  And on this cloudy day in the middle of Shyllon Street, the CSR benefits was noticed immediately as Onyedika Nwachukwu and his mates engaged themselves beautifying the community with their drawings.
  “These are talented young ones,” Ogiugo notes. Talking about one of them, he adds: “We must follow up this boy,” in an apparent reference to Nwachukwu’s raw talent in drawing.
Duke Asidere and Uchay Joel Chima on Shyllon Street, Palmgrove
THOUGH two similar gatherings of artists had occurred in Lagos, in the past six years, each primarily, aimed at taking art to the street; this appears like a regular and continuous business.
  First was Germany-based artist, Emeka Udemba’s Lagos Open, which included the art transformation of Goriola Street in Ajegunle in 2005.
  The same artist returned in 2008 with In God We Trust, a continuation of art in non-conventional space initiative in which he led other artists to paint two churches in Mushin; one of which was Glorious Assembly Church. Both projects were in collaboration with the Goethe Institut, Lagos.
  Also, last year, a group of young artists, Art Clique, took to the streets, in what they described as efforts at sharpening the open air or plein-air painting skill.
   James Iroha, who lives in Ilupeju and has been capturing the documentary aspects of the project from Egbeda, “this is a forum for any artist who is worth his name to share with the community.”

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