“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 and ten photographs by Adegbola. Opening reception will be on October 13 at 3pm. Exhibition runs till October 27, 2017.
Traversing the geographical terrains of Nigeria, Adegbola, a documentary/fine art photographer, aims at creating images of time and moments. Images of cultural value and significance as a medium to conserving the Nigerian heritage.
He has interacted, socialised and keenly observed, compared and contrasted some of the existing cultures, social and environmental interactions and so on of Nigeria.
His works for this show, he says, will depict some socio-cultural themes, lifestyle and splendour of Nigerians. “My artistic practice as a documentary photographer goes beyond the studio; it is more experimental and didactic when moved into the natural environment. I sometimes use available elements in the story-telling of the subjects. In summary, my artistic life has been filled with adventure and skilful experiments as well as inspiring people ugh my works of art.”
He hopes to capture other cultures with his camera; study human nature in relation to his immediate environment through visual story telling. “I have come to talk about life; I have come to talk about the past; I present to you; First Page, Three Chapters.”
Orlu will explore the visual and physical qualities of his medium, his works are disturbing with lots of dark colours and abstract subjects.
“I paint from black because of the injustice and suffering the so-called power (money) has caused the poor masses. I try to depict this in my paintings. You could see light fighting darkness which is our current reality”, he stated
Orlu works are not elusive but paradoxical and carefully balanced between representation and abstraction, with thought-provoking titles such as Rome Can Be Built in a Day.
“I dabbled into a newspaper article on looting of federal funds by some people, the looted funds they use to build estates, mansions, companies etc, can be used to build a better Nigeria, in a twinkle of an eye; thus, Rome Can Be Built in a Day.”
The Port Harcourt based artist says “everything around my nativity, and happenings inspire me, again, it affects my style of painting, colours, drawings, etc.
“My philosophy of art and life is to create an appreciation of continuous and spontaneous works in the same way that expresses the inner self, so to create a social emancipation and the struggle for the economy (recession).”
"First Page, Three Chapters is an exhibition that borders on narrative of change, as it affects three artists from different cultural backgrounds. Though two chapters are similar which they choose to express through painting, yet, the approach to subject matter quite differs,” explains Asemokha.
The exhibition to him “is the meeting point, the first step that counts, the exhibition looks into the relationship between man and his society and how they affect one another and the resulting change, positive or otherwise. It is the light of man and societal change that our chapters are compiled, different as it may seem, yet as each page flips, the narrative becomes woven.
“Everyday through life is an experience, write your experience with all that you may find, write your story in your own Hieroglyphs, write for your generation, write for posterity, write till all the canvases scream your stories to the future.”
About the artists
Orlu was born in Enugu State and hails from Rivers State. He is a member of Society of Nigeria Artists (SNA), Rivers Chapter, graduated with a B.A in fine arts and design from the University of Port Harcourt. He is a full-time art.
Asemokha was born in Edo state. He graduated from Auchi Polytechnic in Edo State, where he bagged an Ordinary National Diploma in Building. His creative zeal led him to further a career in Arts at the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, where he obtained a BA in Fine and Applied Arts.
Adegbola was born in Ibadan in 1991. From Oyo State. A graduate of the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Having practiced professionally for four years as a documentary/ﬁne-art and product photographer developing visual contents for various start-up brands, he has also cut across other types of photography which includes portrait photography, Product photography, food photography and event.
(First image; Seeing is Believing by Orlu. Second image; The Threshold of Self Realisation by Asemokha. Third image; Destiny by Adegbola)
By Udemma Chukwuma