In the heart of a business district in Lagos Mainland, Ebute Metta lies this gallery known as Arthub. Its walls are currently lined with 30 works of ten young artists in a show, titled Diversiform II. It features Jimoh Lukman, Popoola Nurudeen, Bello Adedoyin Adelani, Ifeoluwa Alade, Afeez Akinlade, Paul Ogunlesi, Ajibo Ikechukwu, Ejiofor Ogochukwu, Ubong Etuk and Orowole Oluwole. This young collective sought to use the platform to express themselves in diverse media. From water colour to mixed media, these artists are set to entice collectors to Arthub on October 5 when the show opens.
At a press preview of the works, Jimoh Lukman, a graduate of Yaba College of Technology who makes his debut at the show. He is a painter and stained-glass artist who brings an interesting series of mixed media works to the fore. The pieces titled, “Ecstasy’’ and “Elevation’’ are indicators of the fact that Lukman enjoys the freedom to express self beyond the conventional style of painting using mixed media. He created a signature motif with glue mixed with colour and traced the sketch with ropes with a touch of charcoal in its raw form. In “Symbiosis”, he transplants his knowledge of biology in the sphere of human relations.
“It shows a butterfly on a rose flower, the mutual benefit between the two during pollination. The message there is that at every point in our life we benefit from one another. The work underscores the interdependence of the human life. You can’t have it all,’’ he explained.
Upon his graduation in 2012, he has been a full-time studio artist drawing upon the experience garnered during his industrial training period with Dr. Kunle Adeyemi where he learnt to experiment with several materials.
Ajibo Ikechukwu Godspower, a very philosophical artist, is also a graduate of Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH). His landscape painting had been inspired largely by his experience in Jos, during the mandatory National Youth Service Corps programme. The mountainous region constituted most of his subjects in this show. He came with a two-piece painting called “The Other Side” which is a juxtaposition of the physical and the spiritual world.
“It is a great privilege for me to exhibit for the second time. The first one was quite a great show,’’ said Ajibo. According to the artist, the work is meant to stimulate thinking in the viewer who is reminded that there is an accounting on the other side of life. The work has a glitter effect at night.
Popoola Nurudeen, who is the leader of this group of artists, is the best student in painting for the 2014/2015 session and the overall best graduating student in the school of art, design and printing at YABATECH. His feministic slant showed through this new body of works in titles such as “The Procreation Joy” and “Ohun Ojuri Ni Ilu Eko”, both of which had aged women as subjects.
“The joy of a woman having a grandchild is unquantifiable,” Popoola explained as he pointed at the grandmother with a baby on her back. Perhaps drawn from his personal experience, this emotion captured in the painting is easy to relate with. Putting Lagos in perspective, the second work captures the distressed aged women coping with the struggles of the urban life with little means.
“Ohun Oju ri ni ilu Eko means the struggles of Lagos. This is an elderly woman who has passed through various degrees of distressing situations in the city and still is at loss at to what she has achieved over the years. I used the black and yellow lines to make symbolic reference to Lagos. To show that she has seen several ups and downs in Lagos, I used different tones of yellow,” Popoola who has lived in Lagos for 30 years explained.
Paul Ogunlesi, who is currently studying for his Higher National Diploma at YABATECH, uses his “Self-Portrait” series to document the emotions spotted on people’s faces using water colour to give a glassy transparent effect.
“I used the wash technique,’’ Ogunlesi explained. “I take pictures sometimes unknown to my friends because I may miss the emotion written on their faces if I let them know.’’
His intriguing piece titled, “Untainted” was created with newsprint and acrylics on canvas. Some of his works had been collected in UK and the US.
Ogochukwu Ejiofor, who couldn’t make it to the preview, is a versatile painter who holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and MFA from the University of Benin. She enjoys exploring the use of waste materials to make installations and has been a part of eight group exhibitions in less than two years. Reminiscent of the thug life that inform the lyrics of hip-hip artists, her “Street Love” series evoke the daily struggles in the city and the unwavering spirit.
For Ubong Etuk, the intricacies of his painting include exploring cultural themes and artforms as shown in his pieces titled “Maskorama’’ and “Couples’ Thought.” On his part, Orowole Oluwole who currently works at Ovuomaroro Gallery and Bruce Onobrakpeya Foundation is the second prize winner at the “Off the Bin’’ Competition at LIMCAF 2014/2015. At Arthub, art connoisseurs will relish the visually appetising pieces he made in mixed media titled, “Ojuloge’’ and “Play Time.’’
Ifeoluwa Alade may not be totally new to the art scene having exhibited his works at the 2017 and 2018 editions of LIMCAF. The graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife paints in oil, acrylics and water colour. Alade has also enjoyed the tutelage of a master painter, Jonathan Imafidor and that shows in his ‘Beautiful Brain” and “Ikun Redi”. Bringing embroidery art to the show is Bello Adedoyin Adelani, a socially conscious artist who volunteered in the Art in Medicine project for sickle cell patients in Lagos. Her colourful contributions to the show include “Beauty Within’’ and “Olori’’.
The show which runs till October 15 is curated by Moses Ohiomokhare.