Picture a scenario where cocktail is served to the delight of guests who gather at a cool garden to appreciate some fresh and exciting art works by four emerging artists. It’s called Pop The Cherry At The Grill, an exhibition organised by the founder of Backyard Garden and Grill, Lekki, Mr. Temitayo Abolade.
The show featured young Nigerian artists such as Chinedu Uzoma, Habeeb Andu, Aromire Wahab Oladehinde and Ekpetorson Elizabeth Chioma featuring works with different expressions and styles. The exhibition was organised to bridge the gap between for art collectors and young artists who may have limited opportunities to showcase their works.
One of Uzoma’s paintings, Sought After, made of oil on canvas, shows a mother and child exuding confidence and happiness in spite of the economic situation. Reflecting maternal love, this artist draws upon his keen interest and strength in human forms and anatomy as seen in The Reminiscence.
Uzoma graduated from Lagos State Polytechnic with a distinction in painting in 2014. He had an informal art training in Universal Studios of Art, National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos before he gained admission into art school. He believes ‘art is a tool to communicate what words cannot tell’.
Andu who also featured in the group show graduated from Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State where he had his ND and HND in Painting. His works, largely made of mixed media, charcoal as well as pastel on paper have titles such as The Projection and Homage. A versatile painter, Andu believes in the timelessness of art. The only female artist at the show is Ekpetorson Elizabeth Chioma. She graduated from University of Port Harcourt and had her industrial training at Universal Studios of Art, Lagos. She specialises in drawing and painting. In Concentration, she captures the concentration level of a mobile male tailor at work using pen on paper.
The drawing shows minute details such as folds, bends, stress and strains of both the clothes and the tailor. Her other drawing On the go meal shows a female snack hawker sporting half hijab by the road side. Olasehinde also featured The counselor and The perfect man in pastel on paper. The founder, Backyard Garden and Grill, Lekki Lagos, Mr. Temitayo Abolade is a trained architect with a passion for the art. He acquired his first Bruce Onabrapeya’s work in February, 2007 and has since built a rich collection of artworks.
According to Abolade, the grill attracts a customer base with served interests in arts and a more humane lifestyle. Hence, the art exhibitions are a natural progression of activities. “The gallery hopes to continue to provide an avenue for the identification, development and celebration of Nigeria artist especially with the renewed calls for diversification,’’ he remarked.