Saturday 25 September 2021

Ohams, Sonaya others shine at Discovery Art Show

'Human Canvas' by Hakeem Salami.

By Simeon Mpamugoh 

ALBERT Ohams is leading 10 other visual artists to a six day group art exhibition tagged "The Discovery: Scenes from Everyday Life." The show which is the first to be organized by NK Art Showroom  kicked off last Sunday September 19th and will end on September 24 at 3B Thompson Avenue, Ikoyi Lagos. 

The Promoter and Founder of the organization Nancy Tobi Keshinro who is also an exhibiting artist said that venturing into visual art promotion was for the love of it and not profit adding that if in the process of being passionate for the promotion of art and cultural heritage money was made, so be it. "I  love art and it is like  a therapy for me," she added.
On her sojourn in art, having  read Economics in the university, Keshinro disclosed that everything started during COVID-19 lockdown. "I  saw art as something I can use to create  impact in the lives of artists and people generally. What is happening was a dream turned reality. The vision is just to promote art and artists. I want people to see that art goes a long way. It is not just about the painting but the storyline, the meaning of the  artwork, not the physical appearance. 
"Supporting and appreciating the creativity of artists and their contribution to global tourism, economic growth and development  is something I want to do as often as possible. It could be twice or thrice a  year or as much as I can. Since I have made my debut, I cannot stop as more are in the offing. So, Nigerian Art lovers should  look forward to getting more of the discovery from Nancy Keshinro."
In this maiden edition are 11  exhibiting artists and 23 pieces of artworks. Each artist has two works. One of the artists brought three works while a sculptor brought in four works making it a  total of 23. She explains: "The Discovery Is mainly about how I started, the business idea of how to promote and present art locally and globally but the theme of this exhibition is 'Scenes from Everyday life, '  it  is in accordance with the artists' inspiration and works they produced." 
Noting that the artists came from diversed backgrounds, 
the curator of the exhibition Franklin Oyekusi said  that they were equally diversed in their styles and genres. "A visitor to the exhibition will appreciate  the boundless energy and creativity that is  behind the works," he added. 

This reporter observed that on hand to view some of the works on display included Omooba Yemisi Shyllon, Proprietor of Oyasaf,  one of the forces behind the promotion of art in Nigeria who  described the works as impressive and creative. The exhibition  was also supported by the proprietress of Nike Gallery Mrs Nike Okundaye who put in her enormous  gravitas behind the show. Oyekusi said: "As an artist, painter by inclination and  a business person who promotes the marketing of art, I looked at the works and to be candid, some of them have so much promise behind them which one cannot pigeonhole to a specific category. The styles are diverse: use of mixed media like string, nails, and tread were skillfully applied applied, which shows  that the artists cannot be limited by the use of materials which they bring into the expression of their creativity. We can talk about the scarcity and expensive materials occasioned  by the high exchange rate of the dollar, which makes some of these materials  prohibitive for the artist to acquire but looking around, one can see that the artists had looked at nature and materials that surround it, and brought them to bear on the expression in their works, and that lends credence to the sub-theme of the exhibition which is 'Scenes from Everyday Life.'

"In terms of visuals, one can also see some of the drawings like A break from reality, a painting by the convener and promoter depicting a market woman,  momentarily distracted from the selling of her wares, because of the cameraman that has stopped to take her picture. One can see from her work that she has a lot of promise."
 He said  that art in Nigeria was becoming like a hub of practice and acquisition in Africa. "Without doubt, if you go around the vast corners of Lagos, you will  see some cultural edifices that are coming up on the city centres, and monument that had become a greater appreciation  by the residents of Lagos. Also are managers of city who appreciate the importance of art as a compliment to  business and every other facets of life. So, the show  is a testament to the fact that art has come to stay as an important face of culture and business in Nigeria."
Former Chairman, Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA)  Lagos State Council  Idowu Sonaya who exhibits scuptural piece of Nok head (Ori) defined Discovery from dictionary perspective. He said that  "It is finding something that is hidden. It could be new or may not really be new but it must be something that has been found. The exhibition is a reflection of talents and techniques that were discovered. For instance in my case, I discovered the use of metal  rods to create some artistic portraitures. This  is very rare in the world of art. It is unique for me likewise other artists on the exhibition who introduced something new in their works and have really found value in the process. It is value adding to what they do in conserving art and passing it on to other generation of artists coming behind. In every exhibition there must be something unique about works being  shown. 
"All the works showcased in this  expo were unique in one way or either in terms of techniques, material or concept, and form part of the discovery on their own. The  promoter is also a discovery on her own. She discovered  that she can put together works of other artists and exhibit them. She has discovered something in curatorship. It is a new beginning for her and we are here to support her inspite of the fact that she has been an artist for years. It is a  discovery that is worth exhibiting."
Umeh Bede, another exhibiting artist  said. "I have two works to the exhibition. One of them is entitled: Beauty without Makeup." In it I expressed what I found going on with our society. There are a lot of artificial things going on around us especially on the side of our women. They don't want to look natural again. There is no doubting the fact that black is beauty as the saying  goes. Our women do not appear their natural way anymore. They want to put different kinds of artificial things: from  hair to toe. Even fingers, bumbum (buttocks), eyes  and nails are artificial. Black is beauty  implies that our girls don't have to look beautiful with different kinds of makeup. If you think back in time, the era when Kings and Princes want to marry, you bring out all the girls in the village and all of them will line up, appearing with their local 'Uli,' there, you find beautiful girls for the Kings and Princes to choose from. These days, if you pick a girl in the night, thinking  that she is beautiful, in the morning, you would be surprised at what you will be seeing, all because of makeup. Our girls don't have to look beautiful with different kinds of makeup but natural which is what we see in African woman," Bede said. 

No comments:

Post a Comment