Saturday 23 August 2014

From Florida to Lagos, artists keep araism alive

Seven members of Araism Movement who, recently, had a group exhibition in Florida, U.S, are back in Lagos to continue promoting a style and form that bring them together.

Titled Araism Movement 13: Return From Florida, the Nigeria edition opens from Thursday, September 4, and ends Monday, September 8, 2014 at Red Door Art Gallery, Victoria Island, Lagos,

According to the group, the Florida event was "40-day exposé," which had the artists "stamped" the movement's "creative authority on the American soil with a glamorous opening ceremony." 

The founder of araism, Mufu Onifade stated that after making its first ever appearance in Florida, the artists hoped to make Nigerian wing of the show "a testimony" to the movement's  "proclamation as the country’s most consistent art group." The Lagos exhibition, which is coming many years after its last outing in the city, he assured "is also an opportunity to interact with the Nigerian art public."

A work from araism style of art titled Dolphin, by Oludotun Popoola

 Exhibiting artists include  Onifade, Abiola Mautin Akande, Oludotun Popoola, Oluwanbe Amodu, George Egunjobi, Jonathan Imafidor and Odumbo Adeniran.
 For the Lagos show, Onifade said each of the participating artists will contribute some of the works shown in Florida. He noted that the Florida outing reflected a mirror "on what is described by Robyn Vegas, the co-curator, as 'a snapshot of life in Africa where life began.'
 Expected to be on display at the Lagos event of Araism Movement 13 are Tibi Tire (Pain and Gain), Ibale (White Handkerchief), and Community Police by Onifade; Motherhood and Bini Chief from Imafidor; Dolphin, Awelewa (Symbol of Beauty) and Oba Eye (Peacock)  by Popoola. Others are Odumbo’s Living on Stilts, Sand Boats, King's Guard, and Lagos Yellow; Amodu’s Asale Ere (Night of performance), From Lagos to Yankee, and Ona Kan O Woja (Access Roads). Egunjobi will present Oracle’s Language, Spokesman and Moremi (Courageous Queen).  "All the 21 works, with the exception of Popoola’s Dolphin, address one social issue or the other that are of African authenticity."
   Onifade added that  Araism  Movement’s return to exhibition space in Nigeria "is a continuation of the imprints of its exhibition series. It is also the Movement’s sustenance of its tradition of consistency."  He argued that the group's  appearance in the US has stressed the "quality" of members' works..
 "We are delighted at the reception accorded us, and the fact that we are progressing with history,”  Popoola, secretary of Araism Movement who led other members back to Nigeria, could not hide his excitement about the Florida show. “Apart from the founder, we were all first-time travelers. The show was an eye opener. And this has become one of Araism Movement’s invaluable advantages to our individual practice.”
 Bola Asiru of Red Door Gallery will curate Araism Movement 13: Return From Florida.  Since its opening last year, Red Door has maintained a high level of professionalism in its handling of art and art-related matters.
 On the hosting of Araism Movement for the first time in his gallery, Asiru disclosed that Red Door’s interest lies in the group’s consistency and sustainability of quality in its members’ creative output.” He argued that the group's consistency would appeal to any gallery." Asiru assured that at Red Door  “we will do our bit, and hope the Movement will continue to sustain the tradition for which it is widely known.”
 In a Gallery Statement for the show, Red Door stated: “We encourage everyone to treat this exhibition as a journey of immersion - first of all immerse yourself in the unique Araism technique and subsequently, immerse yourself into the unique message behind each work that has been selected for the show.”
 The gallery stressed: “This exhibition was envisioned as a celebration of a return from a long journey after exhibiting Araism in the United States; but indeed, it will begin a new journey for African art observers and Araism followers worldwide."

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