By Tajudeen Sowole
When an artist thickens the texture of his palette from a paint medium such as water colour to acrylic, it may appear common. But for Chika Idu there is so much to the transition. In fact, he had a solo art exhibition titled Intro, which opened at Quintessence Gallery, Lekki, Lagos, a few weeks ago, which was dedicated to the transition from his long romance with water colour to acrylic.
One of Chika Idu’s works in acrylic titled Faith
"I have been looking for a way to be more expressive, this exhibition affords me the opportunity," said the painter who is a member of Defatori Studio, one of the oldest group studios in Lagos. Acrylic, he clarified, "is not really new to me." Having been experimenting with it "for six years, his inability to share the works of the experimentation with the public, he explained, was based on "the need for perfection."
Out of the 20 works exhibited, the artist's past still hovered around as some pieces in water colours were not left out. He assured that despite changing the medium from water colour to acrylic, his identity in the context of rendition or form remains intact. Also in the new face of Idu's art are the technique and aesthetics. For example, works such as Faith and Ijo Olomo, among others stress the artist’s new direction.
And now that he is no longer confined within a single medium, he has also expanded how his palette determines the tone of a theme. "A particular medium comes with the demand of the theme." On his choice of theme, he seemed to have dropped his focus on the society, noting that his works in the past were viewed from negative perspective. Patriotism, he said, sometimes has unpleasant prize with it. And having gone through that path, he declared that "I now paint without any message in mind," perhaps just focusing on aesthetics.
From Idu’s Artist Statement: “ I have been engaged in several experiments in search of avenues through which I can communicate without compromising my energy and message, I have been experimenting with acrylic medium for six years and this will be the first time i will be showing them in large quantity.
I see this technique and style diversity as an opportunity to express myself in any way i choose, for me its like having the command of several languages, there are some expressions with stronger and more direct meaning in some languages than others, this truth can be related to my ability to express myself in various styles.”
Idu has 22 years studio experience during when he studied painting in Auchi polytechnic in Edo state from 1993-1998.
His bio says he is a restless artist who has on many occasions conducted several experiments with various medium and always seeking for a new and original system of expression.
He has conducted and participated in several workshops as a youth counsellor, motivational speaker, art teacher/instructor and a poet.
He is a founding member of Defactori Studio and founder of Sable Water Club.