|'Bountiful Homecoming' (Acrylic on Canvas, 24 x 40 inches), by Ronke AinaScott.
Currently showing as ...And She Persevered at Weave and Co, Moor House Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos, AinaScott's exhibition comes five years after she had slipped out of her bank job to have a debut solo titled Colours On My Mind at Mydrim Gallery, Ikoyi.
An artist whose theme and palettes ooze in the feminine perspective on nearly whatever subjects come into her thoughts, AinaScott makes a super human of the softer gender in her current body of work. Across class and status, nearly every Nigerian woman would see her domestic and economic life reflect in the mirror of imageries rendered by AinaScott. As a mother, wife and professional, the artist fits perfectedly into the subject of her choice for the canvas.
Perhaps to situate the Nigerian woman as a 'hero' in the recurring hostile socio-economic environment of the country, the artist falls back on familiar themes such as milk street hawkers and market scenes, representing economic survival of women, irrespective of which part of the country. This much the artist depicts in her style and themes that appear like tribute to the Lagos art scene of the last two to three decades.
When the artist showed Colours On My Mind in 2013, she was still the Head, Design and Production Unit, Marketing Communication Group, at Fidelity Bank. And now a full-time independent artist, her signature gets bolder, though still maintains the same texture. Produced from 2014 - 2018, the paintings mostly done in acrylic on canvas have not shifted the artist's style and technique from the old textures of Lagos art that reset memories of art connoisseurs at Mydrim Gallery five years ago.
As creative contents keep expanding the space within the current Nigerian contemporary art scene, there is something reminiscent about the former brand lady's strokes on canvas. If you thought that the Lagos art scene has forgotten about some common thematic expressions of the 1980s/1990s, Aina-Scott keeps excarvateling such, for the second time.
'Could AinaScott's art be expressed differently at this period of strong Nigerian contemporaneity?' This thought reverberates between one's ears, viewing the paintings mounted along the lobby of Moor House Hotel, shortly after a brief ceremonial opening. Indeed, whatever the dynamics that exists of the contemporary Nigerian art being celebrated within the Lagos and diaspora spaces, cannot, perhaps, be fully documented in critical context without the kind of art such as Aina-Scott's. To situate her work within the freedom of choice in contemporaneity, one has to be purged of prejudice such as bashing a sobriquet known as 'repetitive' themes in Nigerian art parlance. The much-criticised, critiqued and over bashed 'repetitive' themes of old are part of the whole narratives of Nigerian art that cannot be marginalised out of the country's art history.
|Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode and exhibiting artist, Ronke AinaScott during the opening of '...And She Persevered'
In apparent dignity of labour, Aina-Scott celebrates the Nigerian woman with such works as 'Fruitful Business', Bountiful Homebounds' and 'Oja Ale', among others. Also, the artist's brushing keeps its strokes strong over the beauty and fashion cultures of the Nigerian woman as captured in 'Looking Forward' series.
From her trajectory as a child artist, to the professional she has grown into, AinaScott examplifies the great potential that lies in every woman's ability to build the home. The artist radiates this much when she tells the audience at the opening of the exhibition how her mother was the first art tutor of her life. "My mom's drawing and paintings inspired me into art", she recalls. Yellow, she says, used to be her over used colour as a child artist. But "today, I am a lover of many colours".
She is not just a lover of colours, but idolises and deodorises her gender with so much strokes of colours. "We can't remove the woman from African culture and value", she explains to her guests.
An artist with passion for horticulture, AinaScott graduated in Fine Art from Obafemi Awolowo University in 1995.