An elegant exhibition celebrates relief sculptures inspired by two dimensional arts
THOSE who are familiar with two dimensional art forms, also known as sculpted relief, would agree that it is a no go area for most practicing visual artists because of its highly technical nature. When producing a relief piece on a wall or on board, the artist would have to grapple with issues of perspectives, depth measurements and so on. But Roland idubor, one of the rising stars in the visual arts industry in Nigeria has decided to dare the lion’s den as he pushes the limits with different creations in this format.
Many of his art pieces were on display recently at a week-long exhibition tagged, ‘Rebirth’ which opened at Nike Art Gallery in Lagos. In the outing, the artist celebrates every item of adornment, gait and gesture in his paintings. As one beholds his finishing, especially his elegantly poised elongated images, it becomes clear that images can be a labyrinth of colours as well as a visual dialogue with the viewer. His work tells the story of a young artist keen on a social mission. About 25 of the exhibited works are executed in sculpted relief on canvass, while five are in other media.Roland explains, in the preface of the exhibition catalogue:
“Capturing humanistic aspect of life in this project as well as to tell the story of how God has changed my life is the drive of this exhibition. We should be responsible for the preservation of our history, I am happy this is what art is all about. We artists should also be grateful for God for placing on us the role of documenting society and preserving cultures.”According him, one of the main reasons for the exhibition is to showcase his new works to the Lagos public so as to sharpen his technical skills.
On display are works like Finding your path, Dreams and attitudes, Vessels of honor, to mention but a few. Ro-land who held his first group exhibition in Lagos in 2000 has moved on to greater things, even holding his first interna-tional exhibition at the Shangri-lla Ho-tel in AccraGhana in 2004. His works adorn homes and offices in almost every continent. But what he considers as one of his most fulfilling moments was when he was commissioned by the marketing department of Coca cola Nigeria PLC to produce a dummy replica of the World Cup Trophy during the Trophy tour of Nigeria a few years ago, as there were doubts as to whether perfection could be achieved in Nigeria.
This added another feather to his cap when it was approved for use by FIFA international officials. Roland, son of the renowned legendary Bini sculptor, Felix idubor also brought to bear on his art a complimentary gift of poetry. Poetry has always been one of artists favorite past times and this love has grown as time went by. He has recently completed a compilation of forty original poems which is due for release. Every art piece he produces is under girded by the influence of poetry. Just as with his art he addresses social, political and spiritual issues with his poems. Here is one of Roland’s poems: titled “Rain.” With it he speaks against the evil of selfishness in the society and its effect.
*this was published in the Daily Times dated Friday, December 12, 2014