LANRE ODUKOYA chronicles the frustrating quest by some young – but no less gifted – artists to bring their artistic creations to limelight via a formal exhibition
Like budding artists that they are, their energetic adventures in visual art see many of them lobbying to be part of group exhibitions here and there. They trust their skills so much that they put a bet on it, but seldom get the nod from the big names to participate in ventures that they believe will change their stories forever. To put the record straight, some of them have had their works showcased at some public space; but it’s not the kind of exhibitions they have long dreamed of. Here are some of the young artists soliciting platforms to make astonishing exploits.
This quintessential painting major has his fingers in many pies as far as visual art is concerned. Trained at the Yaba College of Technology, Gafar holds a Higher National Diploma in fine art. He has travelled across the West Coast of Africa in pursuit of career success and his works are mostly in mixed media. He achieves his paintings with vigorous vibrancy and exceptional creativity in the movement of the brush. A full-time studio artist, he stays impressively on landscaping and part of his pictorial compositions is sea scales even as he works on oil colour and sand painting. Acrylic, pastel and water-colour techniques are also not outside his wheel-house. His training in YABATECH has exposed him to a varied art form: ceramics, textile, metal works and graphics. Gafar is yet to stage his debut solo exhibition which he said he has been soliciting funds to achieve before end of the year. He boasts some works like The Point of No Return, Yeye Oge, Tabla (headgears) among breathtaking others. He has run Awesome Studio for fifteen years.
DUROJAIYE S. MAULI
A native of Ewe clan from Taffi Sea Beach, Ojo Local Government Area, in Lagos, Mauli graduated from the University of Benin in 2007 as a sculptor. His ultimate vision is to pioneer the establishment of an institution for the rehabilitation, preservation and exhibition of arts and cultural heritage of the Badagry division of Lagos. He currently practices as a sculptor and architectural and structural designer. Some of his works are titled Vengeance and Elegance, which he finished using sand casting and they measure 36 inches by height. “Vengeance is a relief sculptural piece which tries to represent the characteristics of Vengeance. The outline form of relief is like a sharp double-edged sword with flame of fire at the top which is ready to pierce and set ablaze anything that crosses its path,” he said.
ADARA N. AVOSEH
An indigene of Ajido, a large settlement in Badagry, Lagos State, Avoseh holds a diploma in public administration from the University of Abuja and Higher National Diploma in painting from the Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State. He’s a member of the Society of Nigerian Artists, Creative Minds Group of Artists, Art Zero and Society of Badagry Artists. Adara is also a member of the African Renaissance Foundation (AREFO). Most of his works reflect the promotion of indigenous socio-cultural heritage. One of his paintings that have endeared him to many is the one dubbed Ahisi which literally means a female child born on a market day in Ogu language. He achieved this with mixed media.
Born in April 1981, this artist hails from Ogun State. Popoola holds a National Diploma in painting and general arts from the Auchi Polytechnic in 2004. He graduated from the department of fine and applied arts, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State in 2008. Popoola is a pioneer member of Araism Movement and Auchi Heritage. Oladotun is rounding off his MFA programme at the Obafemi Awolowo University. And he has also been part of some exhibitions in and outside the country. One of his mesmerizing works is titled Orekelewa, the beautiful African maiden which he achieved employing oil on canvas.
This 22-year-old artist is a native of Modakeke, Osun State, and he graduated from the Obafemi Awolowo University where he studied fine and applied arts. Some of his works can be found at September Studios and Gallery at the Badagry Heritage Museum, Badagry. His painting of the Lagos masquerade, Eyo, is symbolic to the history of the centre of excellence and professionally speaking, his painting of the three masquerade statues standing at the city’s gateway is revolutionary, with intelligent play on colours found on different fraternities of Eyo.
This Afro classic musician was born in Abeokuta, Ogun State, but grew up in Agege, a suburb of Lagos. After earning a diploma in accounting from the then Ogun State University, now Olabisi Onabanjo University, in 2002, he went into sound production and recorded and produced both secular and gospel film sound tracks. He’s a recording artist with two albums, Etunlese and Etunlese remix. But his passion to relay his message via visual arts lured him into the craft. Abbey has made a few works on coconut and drawings. Chief of his work is the one titled Oju Ri which literally means I’ve Seen a Lot. He explained the concept which he conveyed on oil drawing on coconut as “the present look of a man which is as a result of the subtraction and addition of his past.”
Born and bred in Lagos, Segun attended Obafemi Awolowo University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the department of fine and applied arts. This versatile artist believes that art is an aperture through which emotions, sensations and visual experiences are purged without inhibitions. Some of his works are at the September Studios and Gallery. One of his finest is a painting he named Evening by The Water. Fagorusi’s definition of the work partly reads: “The inexhaustible beauty of the sky coupled with the beauty of the water; the subtle reflections, the ripples and the aquatic animals strutting around is awesome. It doesn’t stop there. The cool, tranquilizing breeze by the water side leaves one in awe as the desire to bask more in such pleasure skyrockets. To see people in such naturally endowed area triggers envy in me thus the birth of Evening by the Water.”