Wednesday 28 February 2024

Process, documentation for 3D artistry of 'Sculptors Odyssey' at AMIAF 2024

Yusuf Durodola, curator of AMIAF 2024.

THEMED 'Sculptors Odyssey', the 2024 edition of Artmiabo International Art Festival (AMIAF) has been described as an exhibition showcasing processes, documentation, and  presentations of masterpieces sculptures. Again, as it was in its previous two editions, AMIAF 2024 will be showcasing artists from Africa and other parts of the world. 

Scheduled to hold from April 29-May 1, 2024, at EbonyLife Place, Victoria Island Lagos, the festival, will highlight the richness of sculpture across areas such as creating art, documentation, among other values. As a yearly large scale exhibition, AMIAF made its debut and last edition at the same venue when it showcased over 24 artists from within and outside Africa, during each event in 2022 and 2023.

"AMIAF 2024 is delving into the intricate processes, meticulous documentation, and captivating presentations inherent in exceptional sculptural works," the curator of AMIAF, Yusuf Durodola said in his curatorial statement. "This showcase not only celebrates the craftsmanship of deserving sculptors but also seeks to engage audiences and encourage personal interpretation of these three-dimensional art forms." The 2024 AMIAF stands as a distinctive platform adeptly navigating the diverse realm of art and its creators, committed to breaking down barriers that hinder visibility, Durodola stated. He argued that the festival celebrates the pivotal contributions of industry trailblazers, celebrating their indispensable role in shaping the artistic landscape.

The AMIAF 2024, Durodola explained will  highlight the importance of the past and the future as regards recognition of exemplary creativity. He said that Sculptors Odyssey pays homage to five big artists through awards. Listed for the awards are late Prof. Ben Enwonwu to be given a Posthumous honour, Dr Adeola Balogun, Dotun Popoola, and Adebisi Adebayo. He noted that the awardees are being celebrated for their exceptional contributions to the mentality of sculpting in the Nigerian art world." 

Among the four artists, Enwonwu is no doubt the only Nigerian modernists whose career recorded quite some noteable public space sculptures. For example, Enwonwu's iconic 'Anyanwu' (The Awakening', mounted at the facade of the National Museum Onikan, Lagos was commissioned by Federal Government, and was completed in 1956. “My aim was to symbolise our rising nation," Enwonwu was quoted to have said after completing the sculpture. "I have tried to combine material, crafts, and tradition, to express a conception that is based on womanhood—woman, the mother and nourisher of man. In our rising nation, I see the forces embodied in womanhood; the beginning, and then, the development and fowering into the fullest stature of a nation—a people!" Enwonwu who was one time Art Adviser to the FG explained that the sculpture "is spiritual in conception, rhythmic in movement, and three dimensional in its architectural setting—these qualities are characteristic of the sculptures of my ancestors.”

Still on the significance of Enwonwu as one of the awardees, his inclusion sustain the richness of Nigerian art history, looking at it from the context of modernism. "The Sculptor's Odyssey Award for my late father is about remembering the labour of our heroes, making the honour legendary," his son, Oliver Enwonwu, who was a former president of Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) stated.

Interestingly too, the 2024 edition has started attracting corporate supports ahead of the event. "AMIAF 2024, once again welcomes Multichoice Nigeria as Partners of this year's event," Founder, Miabo Enyadike disclosed. "We at AMIAF are grateful for the ongoing support and legacy partnership as we look forward to an incredible art festival." Multichoice was one of the supporters of AMIAF for the last editions.

The curator assured that 'Sculptors Odyssey of AMIAF 2024 has something fresh for art enthusiasts to embark on a journey of exploration. Excerpts from Durodola's Curatorial Statement: "Here, tangible and intangible elements of sculptural art converge to provoke thought, evoke emotion, and inspire imagination. It's a celebration not only of the boundless creativity of new-generation sculptors but also honors the enduring legacy of local master sculptors who have carved the respect enjoyed today by native sculptors across the continent of Africa. Beyond this, the exhibition navigates the depths of three-dimensional expression, offering visitors a profound experience at AMIAF 2024."

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