Adejumo's painterly sympathy for Niger Delta, southern beauties
BY TAJUDEEN SOWOLE
IN some weeks’ time, the painter Segun Adejumo will, from a non-native perspective, showcase works on the on-going Niger Delta narrative. He also hopes to take a painterly and poetry look at what could be described as unintended arrogance of beautiful women.
Called Ideal and Ideas, the show holds for 10 days at Nettatal Luxury, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The artist, who is from Lagos, is very passionate about the Niger Delta region. And attributes this passion to ‘the human resources’, not the oil and gas.
From impressionistic expressions to realism, the show assembles works that are moderate and spiced up with poetry.
|Take Six by Segun Adejumo|
In Take Six, his palette melts the dreaded image of the Niger Delta militants into hip-hop culture of a six-figure rendition, bringing out a calm side of its youthfulness. It’s in colourful shadows of how young people of today converge in a gang-like movement.
In two sides of abstraction such as Pages Static and Pages Rotation, Adejumo ages the canvas, as an attempt to express the pathetic side of the region. It wouldn’t be all that story of sorrow, so suggests Sunday Afternoon, a scene that shows people in a beach preparing for sailing or fishing.
Though, hostility has ceased for the moment, the negative shadow roves round the entire country is not lost.
While insisting that the people of the region are peace loving, Adejumo argues, “it’s not the image of the Niger Delta that’s battered, but that of the entire country.”
And that he has chosen Port Harcourt for the show stresses his attachment to the region. “I lived in Port Harcourt throughout my secondary school days. I know the people and have friends among them.”
Over the decades, quite a number of factors, he notes, have fractured the unity of the country. Adejumo recalls, “as a student at Unity School, we didn’t know the tribes of your classmates because we were not conscious of such diversion.”
And now, in sympathy with the struggle of the people, the artist adds ‘activism’ and not ‘militancy’ is more appropriate. “Saro Wiwa was not about militancy, but environmental activism,” he informs.
|Adejumo's depiction of the buba (blouse) and gele (head-tie) fashion|
FROM his youthful days in Port Harcourt and his adult years after training at the Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech), Lagos, women have provided different meanings to Adejumo’s narrative.
In his forthcoming show, he stresses his passion for beautiful women of the south-south region. This much he expresses in works such as Figure Narration — a semi nude painting; a social gathering depictions, Sitting Pretty and Gele; as well as a charcoal work, Wrap. In fact, he adds poetry to stress his admiration of the beauties from the region. He says, “beauty is an attitude for these women, you don’t need to tell a southern woman she is beautiful because she knows it already.”
Adejumo writes: “Draw close, there are more things to show: full hips, luscious lips and eyes that steal the soul. An amicable disposition of a good woman down south….”
Truly, elegance, enhanced by elaborate women fashion, complementing the listed criteria of the artist’s idea of beauty is painterly encrypted in his Gele and Wrap.
Also of note in Adejumo’s work is the emphasis on draughtsmanship, which is stressed in Prof Wole Soyinka’s portraiture, among other personalities he either paints or draws.