By Tajudeen Sowole
Spreading his analogous message of seeds, artist, Ridwan Osinowo just concluded another art exhibition aimed at re-orientating people towards generating a better society. Last year, Osinowo had shown the series at National Museum, Onikan, Lagos.
Titled Seeds Of Peace: The Sower & The Envoy, the series continued at Sam Ethnam Air Force Base, Ikeja, Lagos where Osinowo used his Islamic faith as a medium in explaining the value of peaceful co-existence. He implores calligraphy in a mixed media technique with other medium to produce a blend of spirituality and aesthetics.
Among the works on display, but viewed via softcopies are Kindness; A Seed Of Peace, Muhammed, Messenger Of Peace, Justice: A Seed Of Peace, Peaceful Landing, Divine Light, Ultimate Testimony and The Advocate Key. In a painting, Kindness, A Seed of Peace, Osinowo captures the beauty of sharing in a two persons' hands as one gives while the other receives. And when life is about a journey, the collective efforts in success as depicted in another painting of a twin earoplanes Peaceful Landing, as they descends towards a runway, stresses the artist's message of 'Seeds.'
Among the sculptures are vases Divine Light and Ultimate Testimony as each, truly boosts the combined value of spirituality and aesthetics.
Inscribed with caligraphy, the vases, despite being faith based radiate peace, a factor that is important across religious beliefs.
Ahead of the exhibition, Osinowo, during a chat explained that taking the exhibition to the Airforce Base in Ikeja after the National Museum show was part of the mission to keep spreading the word of peace. He also recalled that, his idea of peace as an important factor had been ongoing several years back when he showed in Abuja.
He again insisted that the exhibition probes into the challenge of man's ability to make the world a peaceful place despite being advanced in technology. "It is ironical to learn that as the modern era continues to experience unprecedented technological development, people across the globe have been finding it seemingly impossible to live together without hitch."
The artist is not hiding the obvious faith-based message of his art exhibition as he stressed the importance of spirituality."Teachings of the Holy Scriptures, if sincerely imbibed, would greatly help to restore and sustain peace that is fast eluding our world."
When the show opened at National Museum in in August last year, Osinowo explained the theme Seeds Of PeaceE: The Sower & The Envoy. "The Sower is Almighty God while individual member of the society is the envoy that is expected to walk the noble coursem." He disclosed how titles of the individual art piece were mostly generated from verses of the Qur’an and sayings of Prophet Muhammad which form the foundation of Islam as a religion of peace."
Acceptability of the series could be viewed from the growing interest of partners that have jointly organised the exhibitions. For example, the National Museum show was organised by Ilupeju, Lagos-based Halal Art Galleries with the support of Ismail Bolaji Ebiti Jama'a in Islam (IBEJI) Foundation and the Forum for Islamic Welfare and Education. But the March 2016 event was organised by Halal Art Galleries in collaboration with Nigerian Airforce Base Central Mosque , Sam Ethnam Airforce Base and The Association Aviation Muslim Umma of Nigeria (AAMUN), Ikeja, Lagos.
Excerpts from Osinowo's Artist Statement for the series: "One of most common words of wisdom is love thy neighbor as you love thyself!
‘Seeds of Peace – The Sower and the Envoy’as my art exhibition is entitled seeks to proffer a potent solution towards revamping our peaceful co-existence.
"The art show features selected verses of the Holy Qur’an which center on fundamental human rights and wholesome human behaviors, such as freedom of worship, self-discipline, selflessness, humility, compassion, endurance, to mention but few. Some of the cited characters are illustrated with natural objects like plants, sea, mountains, etc while some were depicted as holy sites in Mecca, Madinah and Jerusalem. I have been cautiously selective in symbolizing passages of the Qur’an in order to keep within Islam the principle guiding visual art.
New media of art come with the ‘Seeds of Peace’.One of remarkable revelations of this art exhibition is emergence of aluminium composite panel (ACP), HDF board and sublimation plate as media and sublimation printing as technique for rendering Arabic calligraphy in both flat and three dimensional (3D) forms! I graciously experiment with mirror gold, silver and bronze variants of ACP together with transparent Perspex and sublimation printing technique to give my works irresistible treat that drive home the points for peace campaign."