|From Olorunyemi Kolapo's 'Awelewa' series.|
As communication -- specifically via the social media links -- increases art appreciation, health information, among others is also being dragged along. From this dynamic narrative in social media, artist Olorunyemi Kolapo picks breast cancer awareness as a factor in projecting his art.
With his solo art exhibition titled Social Mediate, currently showing at Alexis Galleries, 282 Akin Olugbade Street, Off Idowu Martins, Victoria Island, Lagos, Kolapo articulates the feminine focus of the theme. He brings into the breast cancer awareness space, a series he calls 'Awelewa' (The Beautiful). In realism rendition with charcoal or oil on canvas, he plants portraits of beautiful ladies on embroidered part of mostly elongated necks.
Kolapo’s work, inspired by the effect of social media on personal and professional careers of users, adds a touch of subtle and monochromatic texture onto the Lagos art space. "The theme is based on the effect of social media on my career", Kolapo declared ahead of the exhibition. As a twin exhibition holding at the same time and space with group show Faces and Places Ii, the breast cancer awareness is the common factor that the two shows share.
Sponsored by Pepsi, Delta Airline, Amarula, Nederburg, Cobranet Internet Service Provider, Cool FM, Wazobia FM/TV, Chocolate Royal, The Avenue Suites, Art Café and The Homestores Limited, the exhibition aims to create awareness of cancer and educate people on the importance and value of early detection, Alexis said. “Social Mediate is dedicated to my mother and other strong women in the world, who have actually fought cancer and those who were taken by cancer,” the curator and gallery founder, Patty Chidiac-Mastrogiannis explained.
Said to have been opened by the First Lady of Ondo State and Founder of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, the exhibition is part of Alexis' CSR. “As part of our corporate social responsibility, parts of the proceeds from this exhibition will be donated to BRECAN after exhibition which will close on Saturday, November 3, 2018", the curator said. “Every year we are going to do a show for people who survived cancer
She noted that Social Mediate is an exhibition of beautiful touch to art that is connected mostly to women. The works, she said, are limited edition as "they have the cancer foundation logo, worldwide"
For Kolapo, recent advancements a d access to information technology have heralded a new era in the dissemination of health information. He noted that In the past, radio, television, and print media (including posters, pamphlets, and magazines) were dominant techniques used in dissemination of preventive health messaging campaigns. But the role of social media had changed the narrative. "Indeed, the growth of the internet as a significant source for health information has been established, and achieved in large part by the advent of social media.
“Because social media is a 'communication channel' that delivers messages, it provides easy and cost-effective opportunities for users to generate, share, receive and comment on digital content, in the form of words, pictures, videos, and/or audio. Engagement with online content has now become a participatory activity and anyone with access to the internet can now obtain information almost instantaneously. Art is one of the most attractive and engaging content on social media and therefore using art to illustrate and campaign for breast cancer on social media will go a long way to boost the campaign and get people more involved than ever.”