It was a colour and cultural explosion as our current exhibition, Reemergence opened on Saturday 18 August 2012 at The Gallery at Terra Kulture (exhibition closes on the 28th August 2012). Our very own Joseph Ubiombim opened the exhibition.
In attendance were Nigerian Ambassador to Ghana Musiliu Obanikoro, Her Excellency Mrs. Ladoja, wife of former Oyo State Governor, prominent art collector Adedotun Sulaiman and artist Sam Ovraiti to name a few.
The exhibition features the works of two contemporary Nigerian painters, Kola Arifajogun and Wande George exhibit work actively discussing politics, corruption, cultural heritage preservation and typical Nigerian life on oil on board, water-colour, acrylic on paper, oil on canvas and acrylic on canvas.
Wande George’s works heavily influenced by the cubist techniques seen in the works of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque centres on the everyday questions Nigerians asks themselves which often dwell on the corruption in society. This is seen heavily in works called ‘The Ruling Class’ and and ‘The King Makers’. As he states “I started looking for deeper meanings, especially those that affects our social and political existence.”
George does take a break from that heavy subject by projecting highly stylised and sexualised images (these are not overt nudity but done subtly to preserve the modesty of the Nigerian woman) of the Nigerian woman as she is in the ‘Salon’ and ‘Blooms’.
Arifajogun instead discusses the present day Nigerian situation in the sense that he addresses what we have here now such as ‘Negotiation’ and ‘Royal Dance’. Other works such as ‘Everlasting Kingdom’ and ‘Make Hay’ allude the the heavy impact Christianity has on Nigeria. However this is not to say that we are lost in our traditions. Arifajogun argues in his artist statement that “the cultural value of my people is the most important issue to my heart, which is prevalent in my works.”
Both artists meet however in their works titled ‘Blooms II’ and ‘Ariya Unlimited (Egbejoda)’ where they depict the Nigerian woman in Yoruba dress but in obviously different technique.
The works on display invite all who visit the gallery to join in an open conversation of how although Nigeria is changing, the art works speak of key issues, which need to be addressed with this change. It’s a vibrant exhibition, which lights up the gallery as hues of red, blue, pink, yellow, green and white grace the walls at the Gallery at Terra Kulture in surrealist, cubist and impressionist fashion.
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