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George Edozie talks about his struggle as an artist

The essence of art, according to one Nigerian artist, George Edozie, is not just to create an artwork which one hangs on the wall as an object of decoration, rather art, he says, should be a tool of communication for addressing societal issues.

Infinite Treasures at Terra Kulture

This Saturday, November 4, a group art exhibition titled Infinite Treasures will open for public viewing at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.

Bisi Fakeye to be interred in December

Burial arrangement is ongoing for master artist, Bisi Fakeye, who passed on after a brief illness in the early morning of Sunday, October 8, 2017 at the Ikorodu General Hospital in Lagos. He was aged 75.
Fakeye will be laid to rest in December, said Bunmi Babatunde, the Chairman of Universal Studios of Art (USA), Lagos, Nigeria, in a press statement.

Is our culture being neglected? Tracy Augustine answers

Is our culture being neglected? Tracy Augustine answers Tracy Augustine is a final year  Graphics student at the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. At first glance, her colourful digital painting and subject matter is distinctively contemporary. 
Augustine’s narrative digital paintings are filled with energetic mix of colours and figures. Her works tackle topics related to African women and lifestyle, which are sources of her inspiration.

Photographic memoir from 2017 Lagos Biennial

Photographic memoir from 2017 Lagos Biennial, an art exhibition where young and vibrant artists from different parts of the world converge to display their various mind-blowing artistic creativities. The exhibition holds in collaboration with Legacy Museum, Nigerian Railway Compound, Ebute Metta, beginning yesterday and continuing till 22nd November, 2017. Artists from Rwanda, Ghana, Portugal, US, Kenya, South Africa and many others came with their unique works of art that can richly be appreciated when the artists take you through the ideologies and thoughts behind them.
I am, in material particular, so elated and impressed that Legacy Museum and Lagos Biennial 2017 could, through art  
exhibition attract such unprecedented human presence to the belly 
of Nigerian Railway that now is nothing else but a lamentable dung  of abandonment and symbol of Nigeria's monumental and 
unpardonable cruelty to itself.

Heartening Thine Heart With Articulating Arts Galore

The picturesque of humanity is never complete till God's manifests His glorious packages through three principal human channels.
First are the artists who delve into continuum of their beings, be inspired to think, imagine, be impressed and thus express what the God of their understanding want them to express in symbolic works of art for others to admire.
Musicians play their music not only to entertain but further deepen our thoughts numerously too.
Writers obtain in fancies and vogues and they write for our information, education and entertainment but sometimes those pedestrian amongst them rubbish us in thoughts, word and actions.

In the next five years I want to move... - Stanley Dudu

Whether traditional or contemporary, realistic or abstract, an artist's choice is guided by expressive purpose. Stanley Dudu’s numerous drawings attest to this. 
His works revolve around women and children, which are done by memory and imagination.  Dudu interprets every day activities of women and children. The resulting images thus reflect the artist’s feelings about the subjects, which are worth discussing. 

Onobrakpeya, others to participate in 'First Rhythm'

The Visual Printmakers Association of Nigeria (VPAN), will display massive collection of print artworks on Saturday, October 28 at Quintessence Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The inaugural exhibition titled First Rhythm will feature works by Prof Bruce Onobrakpeya, Associate Professor Salubi Onakufe, Dr Kunle Adeyemi, Omoh Sophia Igbinovia, Timipre Willis-Amah, Aladegbongbe Aderinsoye, Mike Omoighe, Juliet Ezenwa Maja-Pearce, Moses Unokwa, Ojo Olaniyi, Bode Olaniran, Pius Emokpo, Inyang Effiong and a host of other great artists.

Lagos biennial is ongoing

The inaugural edition of Lagos Biennial started yesterday, October 14 at the Railway Compound, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria. 
Lagos Biennial Artistic Director/founder of Akete Foundation, Folakunle Oshun, said the event with the theme, Living on the Edge, will end on November 22. Other venues are Ilukwe House, Jaekel House (Museum) and other places in Lagos. 
Oshun said Living on the Edge explores the crises in historical and contemporary contexts. The exhibitions are framed around the   concept of superimpositions, and   examine parallel histories and counter-narratives with   the character of the city of Lagos as catalyst.” 

First Page, Three Chapters opens in Lagos

“Story telling has gotten better with photography,” says Adetayo Adegbola, whose works will be on display this Friday at Mydrim Gallery, 74B, Norman Williams Street, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria, in an exhibition entitled: First Page, Three Chapters.
The exhibition of paintings and photography will feature about twenty paintings by Ozangeobuoma Orlu, Imomoh Asemokha and ten photographs by Adegbola. Opening reception will be on October 13 at 3pm. Exhibition runs till October 27, 2017.

Friends, colleagues mourn shocking demise of Bisi Fakeye

The death of veteran artist, Bisi Fakeye, has thrown many into mourning. The news of his death came as what many described as shocking.
Fakeye died on Sunday, October 8, at the Ikorodu General Hospital in Lagos by yet-to-be disclosed ailHe was born in 1942 at Ila-Orangun, Ekiti. He was a renowned caver from the great Fakeye family of carvers - Lamidi Fakeye being the best known.
Bisi apprenticed under Lamidi Fake. Although he went through school up to teacher training college and abandoned teaching for carving. Moving to Lagos in 1968, Bisi interacted with formally trained artists, developed a more commercially based practice, and became part of the Lagos art scene. After FESTAC 1977, he settled into the studios on the grounds of the National Theatre, now Universal Studios of Arts.
Many works by the artist have been sold at auction, including Town Crier; sold at Arthouse Contemporary Limited 'Modern and Contemporary Art' in 2008 for $12,729.

Taking the Short-cut

Give Thanks
She’s a member of the Poetry Group. Every Monday they meet in the Church Hall. The meeting lasts two hours, sometimes longer. But rarely does it last as long as three hours. The meeting holds in the evening. Members bring biscuits and sometimes cakes or fruits which they share among themselves. In Spring or summer, the class meets at 7p.m. but during Autumn or Winter, it starts at 6p.m.
She has missed some sessions, about four in total. She doesn’t really have new poems to share with the group. That’s why she’s been absent. But in the past week she had been busy. She had been inspired to dish out seven poems at the rate of one poem per day. So she feels confident to join the group tonight and share some of these new poems. She doesn’t write on love. She writes on other subjects but love.
It’s late autumn. The days are getting shorter. One could feel the winter announcing its’ arrival. She wraps up warmly, puts a packet of digestive biscuit in a small carrier bag grabs her hand-bag and sets off for the poetry class.

ART X Lagos to feature 60 artists and...

By Udemma Chukwuma
Painting by Polly Alakija
Thirteen leading international art galleries has been selected for the 2017 edition of ART X Lagos.
The art fair will feature over 60 artists from 14 countries across Africa and the Diaspora. The organisers, TP-Collective, said that the art fair will take place at the Civic Centre in Victoria Island, Lagos, from the 3rd to 5th of November 2017.
The November 3rd event will include an invitation-only VIP Preview, after which the art fair will open to the public from Saturday 4th to Sunday 5th November 2017.

Confronting Omuku's 'Stages of Collapse'

By Luciano Uzuegbu
Not until I took lessons in Rhetoric at the University did I realize the meaning of creativity; or maybe I knew what creativity meant, but it just never became practical for me, and that might have accounted for my missing a whole point in what my father used to tell me, “you have to decide your focus in a camera lens.” By the way, he was the best photographer I ever knew who by the pre-photoshop era of 1961 had completed a study in photography in Japan, and in 1962, started working for the federal government of Nigeria. He had kept a dark room where he performed miracles with negative films, transferring images to papers to reveal exactly his focus; and I can argue, from the vantage of hindsight, that his perspectives were often uniquely personalized.
Rhetoric, like my father’s magic with cameras opened my mind to broader appreciation of concepts and situations such that I can analyse and define them by my personal experience with them, than by mere suggestions of popular notion. This emphasizes the place of devotion and communion, which brook insightful interaction in whatever our minds engage.
Nengi Omuku’s Stages of Collapse, an exhibition of her recent paintings will open on September 29, at September Gray Gallery in Atlanta. Significantly, it will be her first solo in the US, and come as a remarkable collaboration between Cuverley and September Gray.
It will be interesting to see how she stands alone when all the focus will be on her art, away from the distractions at the Amory group show also in the US, which earlier had featured a few of her older works, amongst several by other artists.
Cuverley’s mission is reposed in a personal affinity for the arts, which has been nurtured to lead a generational development of contemporary art from Africa, and the Africa Diaspora. It is a consciousness, which happens upon artistic talents cutting across artists, curators, gallerists and art managers, and exploiting their propensity to imbue humanity with such a profound experience of life. September Gray Fine Art Gallery (SGAG), also specializing in contemporary works by established, mid-career and emerging African American and African diasporic artists, emerges as a veritable partner on the vanguard of preserving the African diasporic cultural legacy and narrative. Thus a break-through beckons on us all; the artists, curator and art managers to discover something worthwhile, something that tends to reconnect and resolve an elusive past, especially of childhood or innocence, which leaves us with a sense of great fulfillment. For all we may know, a reputation is being molded here, which hopefully will inspire and celebrate more special moments with fate.
My association with artists (Nengi Omuku inclusive) refreshes my notion of a curator’s role, and saddles me with the concern about creating a platform to make their art more visible and assessable, if only to secure the social and economic gains of their endeavors. How I achieve this objective often depends on my personalized skills, including practical strategies such as, building partnerships (“you have to decide your focus in a camera lens”). But first, I must convince myself of having learned the artists reasonably.
Besides relying on your knowledge of art history as a curator, you will find it important to abandon your overt presumptions, and engage artists with your whole being – mind and emotion; learning their personalities, working methods and the inspirations underlying their creations. Such interactions usually mute suggestions to the mind, which become purposefully aligned with several other notions, or experiences to contrive meanings that fairly interpret the art and artists to the public.
 I remember wandering down this surreal road with Nengi on our first meeting like a 3year-old being introduced to a set of new toys. I had had the chance of observing firsthand and intuitively matching forms, colours and subjects, just about anything that lent order to meaning, and arriving at some insightful inferences, which otherwise might have been shortchanged by a preconceived notion, or lack of deep and participatory appreciation. Her art is eclectic, and holds much universal appeal; if she was making music, to which she is also inclined (as she plays violin) , she would be a Bjork. Her subliminal finishing is phenomenal, often attempting to denude her of her African heritage, but for the evidence inherent in her self-portrait painting, or occasional portrayal of black woven-hair as predominantly won by African women.
In reality, Nengi’s works are as open-ended as her mind tirelessly stretches the depths of her capacity to communicate experiences beyond borders, including suppositions of alternative reality. Her ‘focus’ within her space often has the propensity to stretch your imagination beyond the possibility of the canvas, as it yields more meaning with every single visitation. In confronting Omuku’s Stages of Collapse, I therefore suggest an openness of mind that allows for interactions with the individual and collective signposts inhabiting her space and palette, together with their atmosphere, upon, which certain conclusions can be richly negotiated.
Regarding the inspiration behind Stages of Collapse, she points to her experience as a Nigerian born artist who trained and lived most of her adult life in the United Kingdom. “This change in space and exposure to another environment, created in me a heightened awareness of my body in space.  With every journey, I consider how human beings position ourselves in space and see our bodies in relation to other beings…”says Nengi.
In relating to the artistic culture back home in Nigeria, Nengi struggles with her globalized persuasions, while providing alternative artistic paradigm with regards to narrative and style. However, on the flip side, it will be exciting to see how her artistic hybrid resonates among international viewers at September Gray. Whatever the outcome of Stages of Collapse, you can be sure it’s already a win for the stakeholders (Cuverley, September Gray Gallery, Nengi and my humble self) who already by ‘deciding their focus’ with the unveiling of this show are most fulfilled.