By Tajudeen Sowole
Within the artistic space, Dipo Doherty extracts the essence of man's sojourn on earth and beyond from the complex world of science. This much he expresses in the solo exhibition titled Coherence in Duality which recently held at Nike Art Gallery, Lekki, Lagos.
|One of the works from Dipo Doherty's Coherence In Duality|
Coming from a science background, specifically engineering, Doherty appears to have employed art as a window in expressing his views on subjects that are traditionally scientific. While the strength of art affords him the space to extend his engineering views within the context of dealing with human emotions, bringing raw science into art appears like a complex hybrid of expressions.
Viewed in soft copies after the close of the exhibition, some of the works, however, appears more traditional in rendition. This helps in diffusing possible technical tension between the flexibility of art and the rigidity of science.
As he clarifies, "My works, most often, start with the human form. It is so integral to my art because it’s the medium via which we experience these energies. I begin to intertwine physical and sensory interactions with matter to emotions, search for the mathematical undertones, and geometrically express them as my creativity dictates".
From a piece of cubism texture in semi design to a mix of traditional drawings, in some cases, Doherty emphases the role of geometry in linking his thoughts in art with science through figurative expressions. He agrees that his science background is unavoidably loud in his art, noting, "My technical drawing and scientific background have thoroughly informed my art".
Having set out on both worlds of art and science as early as 14, when "I began assembling and drawing cross sections of machine elements and architecture," expressing himself in diverse dimensional spaces, he notes, "put me in awe".
However, he thinks the merging of art and science should take another level beyond the ordinary, adding, "Tied with my concurrent scientific studies, I began to draw bonds between the chemical and physical nature of matter and their forms. This led me on a path of inquiry".
In the age of contemporaneity where art is being opened up to accommodate the reluctance of craft and blurring the line of design as well as taking the resilience of modernity into consideration, scientific contents of Doherty’s art appear to have arrived at the right period.
"Forms are spiritual," he confirms a common belief in art parlance. "These regular arrangements hold secrets that thoroughly expatiate the experiences we perceive on a human level: Emotions, Karma, Personalities and Psyches."
Doherty began his studies in Mechanical engineering in 2009 at the University of Virginia, U.S., where “I came across the deeper order to my geometric reasoning: Cohesive forces in water, thermodynamic efficiencies of fins on heated elements, and sound barriers created by compressed air. Various physical phenomena adequately reasoned out by elegant equations and being influenced by mere virtue of its shape. I strongly felt, like Einstein did, that hidden amongst all these experiences, the laws governing the universe from subatomic quarks to planetary systems were coherent and uniform. If I wasn’t discovering it mathematically, then a consistent inquiry through art would reveal this secret to me.
“Slowly, I began to approach my engineering knowledge base from an artistic perspective. I was more inclined to feeling the emotion of my studies rather than the discrete data. I dedicated sketchbooks in the wee hours of the day to free my mind on scientific topics that fascinate me and geometrically express equations and ideas. Later on I discovered about cubism and its pioneers. Picasso resonated with my ideas on geometry by elaborating the difference in realities perceived by virtue of perspective and relative position in space. I felt a kinship with these masters and took the onus on myself to continue this inquiry, equipped with modern day knowledge.”
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