(Master of the Circled Cross) in Benin Kingdom,
the take off, according to Iyase-Odozi will be unveiled in Lagos and continue during the 2018 edition of the yearly Igue Festival in Benin.
Spreading into 2019, the Moving Solo-Art Exhibitions is also being organised to celebrate and preserve Nigerian Art history as well as revive the dying culture of adire in Benin to impart some aspects of the people's culture to the younger generation by ‘Catching Them Young’.
Among the objectives of the show are: to continue the fulfilment of the artist's commitment to the Arts, through regular mounting of art exhibitions;
join in the commemoration of the Igue-Festival with an Art-Installation upholding the Benin Identity and re-enacting the aesthetic and religious significance of Ebe Ewere (Ewere Leaf) used during the festival; and serve as an enlightenment vehicle for the public and imparting skills to women, particularly in the area of Tie & dye.
The tour, she listed, include Nike Arts and Culture Centre, Lekki, Lagos from December 8– 15 2018; Benin, December 2018 – 31 January 2019, (Unconfirmed); and February, 2019, GreenHouse Art Empowerment Centre, Olambe, Ogun State. "The three main dimensions to this project/exhibition include mounting of visual art-works, Workshop on the role of women and the girl child in the production of tie & dye in Benin and approaches to bridging gender disparity. Publication of an Art Educational Journal with contributions by Scholars", Iyase-Odozi explained. "The exhibition is based on Benin Kingdom and focuses on the much celebrated Igue Festival and Benin Iconography, Semiotics and Motifs".
The Igue Festival period, she noted, is for purification and purgation of the land, including its people (Ugie-Edorhia), through the use of the highly significant and symbolic leaves called Ebe Ewere. To depict tradition in the context of celebrating the Igue festival, Iyase-Odozi's work envisages the conceptualisation and display of what the artist described as a huge art installation with totems.
Also, the art exhibitions, she explained, will enhance the aesthetic and religious significance of Ebe Ewere (leaves) used during the holy festival of the Benin people by highlighting the relevance and uses.
"More importantly is the discovery of the sign of the Holy Cross of equal arms in some of the Benin plaques and works of art traced to the Benin Punitive in 1897", the artist who is currently a PhD scholar at University of Lagos said. "The Cross was so prominent and clearly shows the involvement of the King (Oba Esigie), who was believed to belong to the Masters of the Circled Cross. My paintings would exhume the relationship between Benin Court Art and spirituality".
Specifically, the education and documentary aspect of the exhibition highlights Benin's cultural value, particularly in sculptures, as old as the 14th century ago. The preview shows that Tie and Dye aspects of the tour will take the formats of workshop and exhibitions. Its focus include hidden semiotics found on Benin sculptural works to be translated to textile designs on fabrics through the art of tie & Dye; a workshop targeted at women and female children in Benin; and Art works and finished textile designs will be exhibited to the public, alongside the Art Installation exhibition.
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For documentation and information aspects of the project, a journal, known as the GreenHouse Art Journal, volume II, 2018 edition, comes into focus."With the main theme:' Benin Iconography and Tie & dye Culture will be presented and reviewed at the workshop".
Iyase-Odozi is an Artist, Art Educator, Curator, Author, Visual Art Empowerment Expert and Community Leader. Currently, she is pursuing her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree in Visual Art Education from the Department of Creative Arts, Faculty of Arts at the University of Lagos.
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