BY TAJUDEEN SOWOLE
IN contemplation of a lost paradise, the sculptor Muraina Akeem finds solace in The Eden Before Us in his latest solo show that ended on Sunday October 7 at the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos.
While recalling the earth’s sanctity before the creation of man, Akeem cites how man’s poor judgment and misplacement of priorities led to pollution and degradation of the earth.
The show, which aroused interest of conservationists, catalogues human woes arising from environmental degradation as a result of rowing industrial activities and illicit hunting.
|Mago from, The Eden Before Us|
Subtly stylised, some of the works such as Olofofo Series, giraffes in different moods; Oferege, a depiction of antelope; Adigboluja, the strength of the bull; the Rabit Series may be a delight to see, they also remind man of his responsibility to nature, by helping to prevent these species from extinction.
It could be daunting a task preventing these endangered species from going into extinction, but Akeem states: “The advice to learn from the animal species, which is the peculiar content of this show becomes one of the paramount corrective measures. It is quite important to pay attention and to see with a child’s innocence and sincerity before adulthood experiences.”
And taking reference from man’s belief in spiritual beings, the sculptor notes that the Almighty, the Beneficent, has spoken through the scriptures: ‘go ye and learn from the ant …’ to correct yourselves when we fail to listen to the prophets.”
Christening his work Metaalmorphosis, Akeem explains how the concept offers animals, represented by the objects to interact with man. Perhaps, the objects, on behalf of the animals may be asking viewers questions concerning man’s self-destructive activities.
The artist also takes his argument into re-circle waste as part of preservation of the environment, bringing life out of the dead. The works, which are made from discarded mechanical machine parts, resonate the dynamics and benefit of rediscovering life after death.
His thoughts, he stresses, is all about redirecting man’s conscious self from the prevailing mad rush for material wealth. He asks: “Why would individuals be competing in building houses in tens to encage his body, knowing fully well that the body’s utmost bed is 6ft?”
He notes that perverted justice creates different laws for the rich and the poor in the society. The rich, he argues are looting in billions and trillions of Naira, knowing too well that the stomach only need 1/3 of its capacity each for food, water and air… rather than pompous diet, which will lead to a sick heart or a sick bed that is the most hunted.”
He urges everyone to make the earth get back her green, so that we can all stay under her canopy for shade and regain our energy to truly recreate the desired blissful threshold of our haven.”
Extending his satirical rendition he names Kangaroo, ‘Ab’oja gbooro’ (baby friendly). The animal, he says, “is to prop our women who suddenly devote much of their energy on building their career to the neglect of their duties as mothers, thus leading to the collapse moral value.”