BY TAJUDEEN SOWOLE
THE Lagos art landscape was recently remapped with the coming of Watersworth in Lekki. The gallery opened with paintings and drawings that focused on wild life by a Lagos-based South African painter, Celeste de Vries.
Yesterday, Watersworth, which would have been in the same neighbourhood as now rested Pendulum Gallery, Lekki, owned by the late Peter Areh, opened another show, a solo, by the US-based artist and historian, Moyo Okediji, titled, The New Modern.
Art gallery business, first and foremost, starts with the passion for creativity, backed-up by hope that others might share the motive.
For the director of Watersworth, Possible Chinaza Orji, the response she got during the opening of the first show gave her the encouragement to forge ahead.
Taking off with artists that are rarely seen on the Nigerian art circuit may not be enough to show that Orji’s gallery has something new to offer.
Most art galleries in Lagos, as observed, have not actually moved from being art shops to proper promotion of artists.
What exactly makes Watersworth different?
Orji says that promotion is the gallery’s primary goal. She adds, “we treasure talents, cultivate creativity, develop innovation and support originality.”
She hopes to achieve all the aforementioned working with established and emerging artists to nurture the skills of young people by organising experimental and exploratory workshops and expositions.”
She says that the scope of the gallery include building and nurturing of all forms of talents and celebrating uniqueness in all expressive forms and mediums including painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, installations and performance art.
Orji boasts, “our diverse understanding of art speaks to all people and our goal is to contribute to the definition and articulation of art as a global language accessible to both the young and old.”
Art is gradually considered as an alternative source of investment, Watersworth will also offer brokerage to art.
She argues, “art is the crossroads between creativity and capital.”
She explains, “we facilitate artistic expressions and capital investments. In the international market, art did better than the stock exchange in the last 10 years. In other words, art is not simply about beauty.”
For new art enthusiasts and collectors, who are green on who to collect and when to sell or buy, Orji appears set to be of help. “We are not just an art gallery, we are art brokers. We enable artists, corporate bodies, collectors and investors to interact and facilitate beauty as an instrument of producing values, building wealth, accelerating creativity and consolidating treasures.”
|Possible Chinaza Orji|
THE synergy between gallery and artist was seen in Vries’ Wild About Life — The artist’s first solo anywhere in the world and the gallery’s first show.
In The New Modern, Watersworth extends its vision, working with the artist on a curatorial pattern that fits the gallery’s vision.
The artist, who is having his first outing in the country after a few decades of being out of the scene, focuses the show on security challenges in the country.
He stresses, “no longer can we think of today and tomorrow with the same sureness that yesterday presented.”
Change, he argues, is a certainty, but “it is now unpredictable and disconnected from all primal precedence. Life does not translate into fixed and reassuring notions anymore.”