Recently, a conceptual Nigerian artist was compelled to create a piece of an artwork live on stage. The audience watched him for more than three hours as he occupied his white canvas with layers of acrylic paints and other objects.
Not minding the short period given to him, the image you are looking at was the result of Kelani Abass’ effort on the stage titled Hear Us, which is also the theme for the maiden edition of Art Through 2015.
It takes an artist a minimum of one week and maximum of three months if not even more to create a piece of artwork in the comfort of his studio. “It was difficult for me to accept to paint in front of the audience on the stage for about three hours,” he said, “Ordinarily I spend close to four weeks on a piece of art, but I took up the challenge because I wanted to step out of my studio.”
Abass described his experience as wonderful. The work would be sold later and the money will be donated to charity so said Ini Dan Nkang, the CEO of Brother Art Production and the man who conceived the whole idea. “This event is as a result of a burning desire I have long conceived within me and to the glory of God we are all here to witness this burning desire of mine,” he said.
The visual arts and the Nigerian artists have been demoted, according to Nkang, to the background in comparison to other creative arts such as the music arts, comic arts, theatre art and other performing art. He said the aim on the concert was bring the visual artist, music artists, theatre artistes and other performing artists to perform together on the stage, and this he was able to achieve.
Though attendance was not encouraging but the organisers were optimistic that the hall will not be enough to contain people in subsequent editions. Tony Biyi Boyede was project manager while Durodola Yusuf was the Creative Director of the concert.
Present at the concert were Samuel Bassey who represented the Akwa Ibom State Ministry for Culture and Tourism, The President of Society of Nigerian Artists, Oliver Enwonwu, Akeju Temidayo Oluseun who represented The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Service) University of Lagos, Professor Duro Oni, amongst others.