After U.K. trip, Cultures in Colours returns to base(First published Friday, September 05, 2008)
By Tajudeen Sowole
By Tajudeen Sowole
FROM his debut solo exhibition at home, Emenike Ogwo took a leap to add African flavour to the art gallery scene of Europe.
The exhibition, Cultures in Colours which was first held eight years ago at the National Museum, Onikan Lagos Island, had another outing at the Garforth Community College, Visual Arts Gallery, U.K.
Ogwo who just returned from the trip disclosed that the event was sponsored by The School Partnership Trust, a shared Trust with five member schools and three external partners, all in the UK. The three partners are Leeds PCT, Lead Trinity & All Saints and West Yorkshire Learning Skills Council.
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The artist said his works won the hearts of the UK based group, as a result of long time relationship he has with them. "Some of my works were taken to the U.K. and there the Trust Fund saw them and showed interest because of the striking African concept. So, I was asked to stage an exhibition by the same title, Culture in Colours. Before then, the Trust has been buying my works, checking the response from the market, which they confessed was very impressive. "
Held from June 22 to July 6, 2008, the show, he added was basically aimed at showcasing the rich culture of African.
According to him, some of the works presented focused on the origin of poverty in Africa. Poverty on the continent, he argued has spiritual undertones, adding that it can be traced to the wrong foundation "our ancestors laid by placing curses on their offspring."
The content of his works, he continued, highlighted the idol worshipping nature of the people during the dark era before the advent of civilization, "leading to poverty, deprivation, war, hunger and plague that is ravaging the continent today."
Reproduced prints the artist brought included paintings of historic nature such as seascapes of the environments, landscapes and unique architectural buildings; both old and current. Also, among the works were depiction of traditional dances and masquerades.
Other works included; Fisherman which represents the major occupation of the riverside people of Ilaje and Ijaw settlers; Reflections, Black Woman, Akanu Ohafia; First Storey Building", Cassava Market, Child Labour and Conversation which he said were among the over 40 works exhibited at the UK event.
Meanwhile, the artist has a follow-up to the U.K. trip as he plans a two-man exhibition with another artist, Folusho Akinwusi, in October this year.
Scheduled to hold at the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos Island, the show, Emenike said is titled The Joy of Colours.
Still on the same exhibition, Colours in Culture, the artist continues with another solo in December, bringing home what it takes to make a good show in far away UK.
The word, colour, one noted seemed to be too frequent in the artist's choice of themes. "I am very much interested in colours and that is why I speak colours in anything I do - I talk colours, eat colours, sleep colours and dream colours that is why we are embarking on the theme, The Joy of Colours, the colourist said.
Also speaking on the next show, his partner,
Akinwusi, said he intends to portray the title with different kind of colours as he would like to with one dimension of colour in different ways to achieve his aim. On the theme, he said "Painting is about colours, so you have to talk colours; it is not like sculpture that is about forms. So when you speak, you speak colours."
Emenike graduated at the Federal Polytechnic Auchi, Edo State, in 1994 and was an instructor at the Nigerian Army School of Military Engineering, Makurdi, Benue State during his NYSC.