Aramada... Alatise's art of function
By Tajudeen Sowole
(First published May 2008)
Depths in Peju Alatise's work suggest a suppression waiting to explode.
As an artist / architect whose skill traverses virtually all the regular medium, the scope needed for her skills to explode is finally here in her new project, Aramada, (Spectacular), a concept she describes as "the art in function, the function in art."
Though an art exhibition, Aramada brings on board, the synergy between furniture, painting sculpture and bead. For this new page in her career, an uncommon venue has won the day as the regular art gallery has to step aside.
|Head Butt by Peju Alatise|
"Because of space and other factors I had a long search for the right place and settled for 10A, a new event place in Ikoyi, Lagos Island", she stated. Opening on Saturday May 3, 2008 to end on May 7, 2008, the furniture among the works to be on display, Alatise explained, tells a story just like art piece.
Remember that character, Aremu, in the artist's novel, Orita Meta (The Cross Roads)? The character, according to Alatise, is re enacted in one of the furniture pieces for this exhibition.
Preview of the works showed that Alatise is bringing art from furniture. For the paintings, a perfect bedfellow in interior décor awaits visitors to the exhibition as the artist brings out a composite to blend the science of architecture with the art of designs.
Also, quite some combinations of art and science must have gone into the furniture as she explained that anatomy is as crucial in architecture as it is in figure drawing.
|Desperately Labake by Peju Alatise|
"Like art works, these furniture have the potential to appreciate in value because of the concept invested in them," she argued.
On beads, she noted that her past works were for decorative, such as pots and sometimes as part of the mixed media of art exhibits. But in Aramada, "I have the wearable beads along the decorative pieces"
Though she is fast making more impact in the arts compared to architecture, the latter, she explained, is more about precision and gives no room for mistakes. This must have given Alatise a wider room to express her creativity as the art is more flexible, where 'mistakes' is very relative. "In art, mistakes could be taken as aesthetic. Architecture is more discipline, you have to be accurate," she stressed.
|Turquoise Beads by Peju Alatise|
She couldn't have been talking from a mere academic point of view as her practice, both in the art and architecture - in the last few years - has consistently built up to this project.
A trained-architect from Ladoke Akintola University, Oyo State, Southwest Nigeria, she settled for science – her father's choice – against her art ambition. Alatise recalled that through out her undergraduate days, the urge to see her ambition come true was always there, though fired by the thin line between art and architecture.
She came out of school, full of hope to go into furniture. "I needed to raise fund to go into furniture making, and had no idea how to do it. But thank God I had my art ambition intact. I went back to painting, started selling works and gradually went into furniture and interior décor".
Some of her projects in interior décor include office décor work for Philips Consulting, a project she said opened the lid when she discovered that that there is a thin line between art and architecture. She also took part in the décor and art project of Obudu Cattle Ranch, Cross River State.