At the choice Backyard Garden & Grill on Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1, venue targetted to woo fresh curators, first time collectors and art lovers in general, four young Nigerian artists stepped out to showcase the works of their imaginations, and the show was an eye opener that art is no longer a passion for the elite alone; it is a way of life.
Art communicates what words cannot tell
30-years-old Chinedu Uzoma, from Ezeachi in Orlu, Orlu Local Government Area of Imo state, made a statement with Reminiscent, oil on canvas painting depicting Mum & Child. The work was so natural and arresting that it drew a lot of attention at the weeklong exhibition.
Other works by Chinedu on display include Brain-Storming (Charcoal on paper), Take no Thought (Charcoal on Canvas), Obeisance (Oil on canvas) and Sought After (Charcoal on Canvas) – a typical scene at a public tap in a crowded community, among others.
A graduate from Lagos State Polytechnic with distinction in painting in 2014, Chinedu had an informal art training in Universal Studios of Art prior to the time he got admission into school.
His special area is human forms and anatomy which dominated most of his artistic expressions.
In a chat with The Daily Times at the event, Chinedu, on behalf of his colleagues said he uses art as a tool to communicate what words cannot tell.
Going back 15 years in time, Chinedu recalled his passion for the arts was noticed early by one Olaolu, a print professional and family friend in Amukoko area of Lagos. “He took me as a child to his shop where and while he would be printing I would be arranging the works. I started art with him but along the line I moved on to Universal Studio of Art at the National Theatre, Iganmu where I spent five years apprenticeship before my admission into the Poly came through.
“I improved my drawing skills and we did more of live drawings, that is, sketching and drawing by looking at live models.
“The mother and child was a live model; I did a quick sketch and took picture references and from those I developed the work.”
Chinedu studied arts and industrial design, specialising in Painting in 2014.
“At the ND level we were made to create designs that would be useful for industrial purposes, but at HND, we had to special either in graphics, ceramics, etc.”
The young artists brazing up to storm the art world were school mates.
“All four of us exhibiting our works together are friends; I did my IT at the Universal Studios of Art where I met Habeeb, Andu as well as Aromire Wahab and Elizabeth.”
The future for young artists
“First, we appreciate God for the gift; it has not been easy for young artists because some of the young talents that started with us dropped off because their expectations were not met financially; but for us, God has been so good; He has connected us to some people who have been helping us by patronising our works.
“Mr. Temitayo is one of them; he has been of great assistance to me and the rest of my colleagues.”
How are people accepting your works?
“We do have some good percentage of people who appreciate arts; some are even addicted to it even in the face of economic recession.”
Arts thriving inspite of economic recession
“I am looking for possibilities to export my works, but I have been fortunate to have some private collectors take my works out for exhibition. One exhibition held in Denmark in 2014 and my works were exhibited; though it was a collection I sold to somebody, and the fellow took them to Denmark for the show. But with time I believe I will be able to travel with my own works.
Chinedu was able to sell three works in the one week exhibition. “My colleagues also made some sales and some of their works have been tagged but we are hoping all the works will go before the exhibition is over.”
Future for young artists
“For some of us are young and we have this drive and enthusiasm that is keeping us going. As for the future, I have much faith in the art business and am putting all my best so I will not just be good at my drawings but also good in the business part of arts.
“One of the aspects that may frustrate the young artists is the business side of arts. Fortunately for me I have met some older artists who have encouraged me to both push my works and sell myself to the art world. An artist who wants to succeed must read, be informed and be able to mirror the society through his works.
AROMIRE O. WAHAB
Aromire Wahab Oladehinde graduated with Higher National Diploma from the Lagos State Polytechnic as the overall best student 2012 set in the Painting section. Interestingly, Wahab’s versatility spreads across his creative indulgence in sculpture and mixed media. He has participated in several group Art shows both home and abroad.
Among his works at the exhibition is The Perfect Man, pasted on paper, 28x20cm, 2016,
Art is the primary of whatever exists here and hereafter.
Lagos State born Habeeb Andu graduated from Auchi Polytechnic where he obtained his ND and HND in painting. A versatile painter who loves drawing, Habeeb’s works reveal his passion for drawing through his regular expression in charcoal, pasted and other drawing media. He has participated in several Art shows. He believes art is the primary of whatever exists now and after.
Among his works is The Homage, charcoal and pasted on paper, 25×25 inches. Others include Beauty Within and Projection both defined on mixed media.
Ekpetorson Elizabeth Chioma, born 16th of April 1991 is from Delta State, Nigeria, but born and bred in Port Harcourt, River State. She graduated from University of Port Harcourt and had her industrial training in Universal Studios of Art, Lagos. She specialises in drawing and painting and has participated in several exhibitions.
Among Elizabeth’s works at the exhibition was Concentration, a pen on paper work on 42x32cm, 2016, Mai Masara, Cook-Out, all skillfully interpreted through pen on paper.