Sunday 23 August 2015

For Balogun, Alimi, Swedish experience boosts creativity

Adeola Balogun (sculptor) and Adewale Alimi (painter) are currently in the second phase of their residence programme in Uttersberg near Stockholm, Sweden, courtesy of Quintessence Gallery, Parkview, Ikoyi, Lagos. The artists' residency adds to the list of beneficiaries of Quintessence's yearly support for Nigerian artists who enjoy such grants to the Scandinavian country.
Guests at the exhibition of Adeola Balogun and Adewale Alimi during the artists’ residency in Sweden

Dr. Kunle Adeyemu (printmaker) and Balogun, among others, had been given similar opportunity by Quintessence in the past three years. Balogun and Alimi, according to Quintessence, are working with renowned Swede curator, Anders Nyhlen, who runs Galleri Astley and a studio for residency in Uttersberg. 

"Yearly, Quintessence Gallery supports Nigerian artists in its international residence programme in our desire to help connect them to new ideas," Moses Ohiomokhare, curator at Quintessence said recently. "We also expose the artists to a variety of contemporary art and social practices, giving them character of international exposure through exhibitions."

For 2015, Balogun and Alimi continue the tradition, which include exhibiting works produced from workshops during the residency. "After three weeks in Trollhatan, Balogun and Alimi have just had an exhibition organised by Gunnar Ternstedt at a pump house call Pumhuset. The exhibition titled Connection was well received by the community."

The statement explains further, "To prepare for this exhibition, Gunnar, their curator, spent the last one year collecting materials for work. From burnt bike to horseshoes to help make things a lot easier for the artist. Apparently, this is not Adeola’s first encounter in Sweden and so he was on a familiar ground to work. Adeola produced six sculptural pieces and 10 drawings, including a life size horse.

“Alimi, who is in Sweden for the first time, was able to produce 21 medium sized paintings that have global themes and acceptance. The impressions were social, economic and political.”
Galleri Astley under the guardianship of Anders has been supportive of the exchange programme with Sweden. In 2008, Anders and Eva Zettervall were in Nigeria to exhibit at Quintessence Gallery and also had workshop for the art students of Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, courtesy of the local gallery. The event marked the beginning of exchange programmes between Quintessence and the Swedes art community.

 Past beneficiaries included ceramists and other artists like Ato Arinze, Umaru Aliyu and Adeyemi.
Gunnar Ternstedt, Mariannes, and Sture Agby. Chief Aino Oni-Okpaku has also supported the project. From August 29, Balogun and Alimi will be having the second exhibition at the end of their residency, which will be opened by the Chancery of the Nigerian Embassy in Sweden.

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