Saturday 3 January 2015

Miniature challenge, experience of Pastiche artists

By Tajudeen Sowole
Despite the perceived 'diificulty' in scaling down concepts to small canvas, four artists have succumbed to the mood of end the year season by creating miniature sizes to boost art collecting.

At the lobby of Moore House Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos, where the works of the exhibiting artists - Fidel Oyiogu, Ronke Aina-Scott, Monsuru Alashe and Ademola Adeshina - were on display under the title Pastiche, the aim of the show appeared to have worked out as the attraction and urge to pick at least a piece of the miniaturea was in the air. "This is the season of gifts, And art should be part of celeb ration," Tayo Ajimoko, creative director at Zapha Rield Ltd, the promoters of the exhibition told one of the guests during the opening.

Dance Steps by Aina-Scott
For the artists, the miniature concept was a good experience, but came with its challenge and exciting experience too. "I don't do miniatures,"Aina-Scott said. And having b eing dragged into it by Pastiche, "I love the experience." She however disclosed why she used to avoid miniature. "I don't like sketching in small sizes." But after giving testing it and to the point of paintings, she realised there so many benefits. One of the gains of showing in miniatures, she argued "is that you can have a set of works that could be bought easily." Oyiogu whose works, usually, leaned towards the large canvas could not hide his challenges coming to terms with miniatures. In fact, he showed 20 pieces, only one or two of which included medium size. "It's a big challenge for me, technically and financially," he said.

The experience of Adeshina and Alashe differs slightly. "I actually started my career with miniature over a decade ago," Adeshina, the only abstract artiist of the show recalled. But  after, the experience, he admitted was not the same having to make small pieces in large numbers. Alashe was perhaps the only artist among the group that had his technique of mesh screening photography naturrally keyed into the scope of the exhibition.  He explained that his style and technique had always come in miniature. However, he looked forward to making large size." I could do big works with the same technique."

Aina-Scott's subjects are diversified,but mostly inspired by the African woman in society. She has stayed true to her muse in the motifs employed in creating the mosaics in the current exhibition.
 Oyiogu  at once a conductor and puppeteer carefully guiding the viewer to arrive at a personal interpretation of the composition while offering road maps in form of superposition and superimposition of shapes and textures.

  Alashe is an experimentalist who uses  wool, woven materials and photography. His work addresses everyday situation and topical issues that strike at the heart of societal norms and ills.
 A self-taught artist,  Adeshina presents a large range of paintings which can be interrogated in several ways.
As a textile designer, he has been experimenting on pointillism with the application of African motifs  

The hotel lobby space for art exhibition was a familiar terrain for Ajimoko and Oyiogu who, few months ago  showed the latter's solo titled Illusion of Reality.  Zapha Rield had also shown Lekan Onabanjo's works at the same venue.

Ajimoko explained the focus of Zapha Rield. "We are committed to supporting and promoting authentic African art, designs, ideas and discuss on a different trajectory from the usual. We believe quite strongly at Zapha Rield that African art in general and indeed Nigerian art is the next frontier, a beacon attracting the klieg lights of the world. While it currently experiences a healthy growth, it has a potential to grow in leaps and quantum beyond our wildest imagination or illusions and realities. In the eternal words of Friedrich Nietzsche, the essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude. We are confident that attending the exhibition will lift the spirit and launch the viewers into new realities and they will be gratified by the visual experience that awaits them."

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