Wednesday 28 September 2022

With 'No Pain, No Gain', Vivid Art Gallery explores new space, fresh contents

'Fela - Digging It Deep' (oil on canvas, 36 X 48 inches, dated 2022), by Timi Kakandar on display during No Pain, no Gain group art exhibition at The Wings Complex, Victoria Island, Lagos... recently.

EXPANDING the art circuit of Lagos seems to be getting better as No Pain No Gain, an on going art exhibition suggested last weekend. Opened on the top floor of The Wings Complex, 17A, Ozumba Mbadiwe Ave, Victoria Island Lagos, the amazing space of the new venue, to an extent, created breathing space enough for the works on display.

Except for one or two sculptures that did not have enough headroom to stretch upward, the entire pieces on display exhaled well enough, even with the high volume of visitors to the exhibition. More importantly, the works on display celebrated the freshness in creative energies of Lagos, across diversity of artists and medium. In fact, some of the sculptures viewed during the opening stepped out of the traditional medium just as the paintings too strengthened contemporary expressions of the Lagos visual culture.

From Dotun Popoola's metal Àsàké (Ostrich) mounted at the right wing of the floor, to Chukwuemeka Osisiego's You, acrylic on wood, also imposing as well as clay sculpture Two Trees and Survival, by Ato Arinze, among others, the exhibition's opening displayed rich curatorial contents.

Adding bold colours in diverse shades and hues, mostly in figuration to the gathering were the Finding Balance series by Sam Ebohon, Early Bird and For How Long? by Damola Adepoju, Aladejare Ayodeji's seated figures like Nightly series and Unresolved, and Morning Stretch as well as Waiting by Obeka Simon. Also, from Felix Aina's Fate and Conversation, Gabriel Jideonwor's The Traveler and Inner Thoughts, as well as More Beautiful and Fela - Digging it Deep by Timi Kakandar, splendid brushstrokes in creating dramatic themes further lifted the opening of the exhibition.

As regards art in its simplicity form, Untitled and People by Damilola Okhoya, as well as Out of the Abundance of the Heart, Friends and We are One by Silas Adeoye enriched the gathering. From Adebayo David's Untitled and Prime, Ibie Blessing's Animal In Power, as well as Mountain Rain and Aidelokha Iziogba's Fela, sculpture in figuration form brought freshness into the exhibition.

Organised by Vivid Exclusive Art Gallery, No Pain No Gain, is on till October 8, 2022 as the Chief Executive Officer, Gabriel Jideonwor, stated that the exhibition will also involve empowering artists with other supports. Sponsored by The Wings Complex and Oando, the exhibition, he said, is packaged to also encourage artists not to give up in any way but instead to keep doing their best, Jideonwor stated.

 Special Guest at the event, artist, Chief (Mrs) Nike Okundaye was impressed with the exhibition and advised the exhibiting artists to keep working as they "are the future." On the essence of the theme of the exhibition 'No Pain No Gain, she explained that it also speaks to an artist's career. Selling works, she noted, does not always come as immediate reward for artists. She assured that with dedication to studio practice better results in commercial success will come. 

Visitors viewing the artworks on display during No Pain, No Gain exhibition.

On the initiative of Vivid Exclusive to stage the exhibition, 'Mama Nike' as she is fondly known by artists, argued that collective efforts is the way forward for the industry. "Owo kan ko le gbe'ru dori...a jo se ni..." (one hand can't lift a load to the head), she advised the artists.

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