Six Young Artists to Beat at Rele Gallery…


Yinka Olatunbosun

This weekend, art lovers will continue to swarm around Rele Gallery since the Rele Arts Foundation introduced the fourth edition of the ‘Young Contemporaries’ exhibition, its first group show of the year that features six promising artists namely Stephen Tayo, Tonia Nneji, Osaze Amasadun, Joseph Fidelis, Osaru Obaseki and Abraham Ogundele.

‘Young Contemporaries’ exhibition was created in 2016 to provide a critical and engaging platform for a new generation of emerging artistic talents in Nigeria.

Now, it serves as an enabling environment for young artists to be part of the discourse on cutting-edge artistic practice, art and social activism as well as critical issues that impact the immediate Nigerian, African and global contexts.

The selected six artists working in diverse media with varying degrees of skills and techniques explore themes of history, heritage and identity.

Stephen Tayo, 24, a photographer, will present a series titled “Ibeji” which explores the psychological impact of having to share kinship with and having one’s identity defined by another.

Tonia Nneji, 26, a painter, uses her experience as a female living with PCOS-Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome to express the trauma living with the ordeal, which is most often hidden beneath superficial layers.

Osaze Amasadun, 24, illustrates in “Once Upon A King”, works reminiscent of the ancient Benin Kingdom. He depicts and reinterprets significant events that occurred during the reign of Oba Esigie (1504-1550). With his abstract paintings, Joseph Fidelis, 29, introduces “The Spirit of Salkur” as a way of interrogating the metaphysical realm.

A mixed media artist, Osaru Obaseki, 25, uses a combination of sand and acrylic to address how the environment affects the human mind and individual personalities.

Abraham Ogundele, 27, a painter, uses color composed dots to present “A Wonderful Space: a light-hearted journey,’’ reflecting on shared experiences, pop culture and cross-generational themes.

With support from the Rele Arts Foundation, the artists were awarded grants to produce the body of work at the exhibition. The show runs till March 3.