Saturday, 15 June 2013

Brand girl, Aina-Scott returns in Colours On My Mind

By Tajudeen Sowole
Against the current trend of filling the Lagos’ art space with all sorts of experimentation under mixed media and contemporary behaviourial forms, designer, Ronke Aina-Scott reminds art lovers of the past trends, suggesting that art can still be appreciated in its simple rendition.
   Currently of the Head, Design and Production Unit, Marketing Communication Group, at Fidelity Bank, Aina-Scott brings back the old trend of art known in the 1980s/90s as her solo art exhibition titled Colours on My Mind, opens on Saturday, June 22, ending July 12, 2013 at Mydrim Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos.
 The theme, metaphorically, she said, is “to encourage creative people to be motivated and come out to express themselves”.
 Quite understandably that such a theme is coming from an artist who, for a long time has waited for the moment to prove that not being a full time studio artist is not enough reason to perpetually conceal one’s creativity from the public.
 She had shown in several group art exhibitions such as Best of Ife ’95, MinajTV Exhibition (1997) and Naija Woman Exhibition by Tourshop (2007). But since she graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in 1995, Colours on My Mind offers a wider ventilation to express her bottled creativity, and perhaps bring a bit of branding flavour into art gallery space.
   Largely of representational images, the works depict human activities including domestic and outdoor routines; quite a revisit of the themes common among artists 15-20 years ago. And the styles are no different. Aina-Scott’s strokes are synonymous with the highly colour-competitive periods of the past when artists were rated based on their drawing skills and ‘bold’ application of colours. These values, she stresses in her debut solo exhibition as she looks forward to testing the waters of the mainstream Lagos art scene after over 10 years working across press and branding 
sectors.  Basically, her technique is derivative from Pointillism, so pronounced such that some of the works could be grouped in the family of ‘araism’, 
From Ronke Aina-Scott, a painting titled Back from the Stream
 Despite her long absence on the art exhibition turf, Aina-Scott will not walk alone when Colours on My Mind opens. She has quite a list of dignitaries to support her. The high profile guests is led by Special Guest of Honour and Chairman of the event, Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi, who is the Managing Director & CEO of Fidelity Bank Plc. Other dignitaries include executive directors of Fidelity Bank Plc, IK Mbagwu, Onome Olaolu, John Obi; Chijioke, Ugochukwu, Nnamdi Okonkwo and Mohammed Balarabe.
  Aina-Scott was one of the founding graphic artists at the Daily Independent Newspaper, but later moved to FSB International Bank.
 Thematically, the show focuses issues on African culture, role of the African woman, deforestation, conservation, highlighting what she noted as “fast disappearing fishes from our rivers due to the effects of global warming; non-availability of clean water in most African society; elaborates the influence  of mothers on their children and also the love of a mother for her child”.
   Over the past one and half decade, some young artists seemed to have been highly experimental, particularly in application of diverse medium, either in sculpture and painting. Even some established artists who were conservatively adamant are faintly changing the texture of their canvas.   Having been monitoring the art scene from the confine of her branding is Aina-Scott aware of the changes on the art exhibition turf? Not really exactly shut out of the changes, she said. “But when I decided to have this show, I got in touch with some established artists who are very regular on the art scene, for guidance”.
  Whatever the changes are on the art scene, the artist insisted on maintaining an identity and confident that her natural talents, which has brought her this far is the strength. She recalled her long journey from childhood: “As a little girl, my colour pencils were the most prized of my earthly possessions and whenever they got missing, which was very often, I was usually reduced to tears. Painting fills me with a sense of accomplishment and I am most at peace with myself when I am at work on my canvas. Art for me has proven a most amenable vehicle for translating inner vision to outer reality.”
Ronke Aina-Scott
  Full time studio practice is not exactly missing in the career of Aina-Scott. Her job definition as Head of the Design and Production arm of The Marketing Communication Group of Fidelity Bank is basically art-related, she argued. “It is an in-house design studio; I am responsible for design and production of corporate items which include branded items and branding items. The unit is also responsible for production of marketing items, such as fliers, brochures, etc., I am also involved in event packaging and give branding support to other units of the bank as the need arise”

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