|'In History' (2017) charcoal, metal, acrylic, 236cm x 110cm x 5cm
Organised by Arthouse – The Space, the exhibition brings together recent works incorporating discarded materials, including charcoal and jute fibre, to create visual narratives that evoke the complex socio-political and economic structures that frame contemporary culture. Obodo is interested in the physicality and significance of these found materials, reinventing them through processes of tying, sewing and stitching.
The title of this exhibition, Ngwugwu, is an Igbo word for “packages”. These artworks fuse patterns and structures found in different kinds of parcels as a metaphor for life, a bound and woven mass of inordinate entities and experiences. As the artist states, “every aspect of life, after all, is arguably about packaging”.
Obodo’s charcoal works reference issues of natural resources and development in Nigeria, while his fibre works utilise nylon threads that are tied, rolled and wrapped to create colorful visual metaphors. Together, they speak to the connections between individuals and their social relations woven against economic and political backgrounds, connected by community, nation and the global economy through the
trade of goods and ideas.
This exhibition is generously supported by Kia Motors and Le Connaisseur.
Obodo holds an MFA and a PhD from the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and presently teaches sculpture and art education at the same university. He was formerly a lecturer at Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, where he taught art history, sculpture and drawing for several years before joining the University of Nigeria. Obodo has participated in several international group exhibitions in addition to his solo shows, including the Osaka Trienniale (Japan) and DAK’ART (Senegal). In 2013, Obodo was the recipient of the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship Award.
Arthouse-The Space is a satellite initiative of Arthouse Contemporary, West Africa’s leading auction house of modern and contemporary African art. Founded in 2007, Arthouse Contemporary aims to create awareness of the scope of contemporary art in the region, encourage international recognition towards its talented artists and strengthen the economy of its art market. Since its inception, Arthouse- The Space has organised exhibitions of contemporary artists including Peju Alatise, Diseye Tantua, Victor Ekpuk, Yusuf Grillo, Chidi Kwubiri, Eva Obodo, Emeka Udemba and George Osodi, as well as international art fairs including Art14 London and Art X Lagos.