Adeyemi in Quantum Leap at 60
For the Lagos visual art scene, this period seems to be the best time to be an artist, as shows are holding at regular intervals across the city. The latest is by Dr. Kunle Adeyemi, who is the Dean, Faculty of Art, Design and Printing, Yaba College of Technology, who recently turned 60.
With Quantum Leap as theme, the show x-rays happenings in Nigeria from when the country became independent to date.
According to the art teacher, the show, which is a touring one, will be in two parts and also showcase 60 pieces of work to mark my 60th birthday.
“The exhibition will showcase 60 of my works for my 60th birthday. Aside this, it is going to give young and new collectors opportunity to get works within their budget because a variety of artistic offerings would be available,” he said
With the first phase rounded off on Saturday, September 21, at the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos, Adeyemi explained that the second phase of the touring exhibition would hold at the Yusuf Grillo Auditorium and Gallery, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos from September 26 to October 18.
He said: “The show is not commercially driven. I am holding it as a way of giving back to the society and appreciating the Almighty for turning 60. It is in this light that I hope to make everyone that comes to any of the event to go home with an art piece, no matter the size. I want people to appreciate and own art works and through this, I will have some of my works in different homes across the globe. So, I hope to have some of my paintings in plaque-size, post-cards, mugs, while others will be in large print, canvasses and mixed media. These will serve as souvenirs, a sort of reference and document of our heritage.
“I want my works to be in as many homes as possible because one has to be first, a local artist before going international,” he said.
Some of the works to be showcased include the painting he made in 2009, Nigeria’s Still A Dumping Ground, which satirises the craving for foreign goods, irrespective of the quality and the country of import. Others are, The Misery of Sambisa Forest, Women’s Protest, African Ruler And His Subject, 59 Years After Independence, the list continues.
In African Ruler And His Subject and 59 Years After Independence, the artist shows why Africa is lagging behind other continents. Adeyemi said the ruled are subservient, but their leaders instead of using the malleability that exists between the ruled and leader, milk the people that elected them. A situation, he noted, has made the continent underdeveloped.
The show calls on African leaders to wake up to their responsibility and do the needful so as to move the continent and its people forward.Harping that artworks are part of the repository of history and heritage, Adeyemi noted that one of the aims of the exhibition is to say that there has been a leap in all that is done, be it in community development, public service or every day life.
He revealed that 60 artworks to be showcased cut across some of his works from the 1970s to the 1990s. With over 80 group shows and 20 solo exhibitions held locally and internationally, the art teacher’s works are topical, as they reflect major concerns of the people: be it their personal and community life, political, cultural or the economic situation.
His versatility at making the nuances of each image express diverse feelings is not in doubt and this leaves much to be desired. Preparing for the second phase, the art teacher, who has turned his studio in Mushin to an extension of his classroom, where he mentors young people in the arts and also serves as platform for less privileged artist to showcase their skills and works, disclosed that part of the proceeds for the show would go for charity.
“I will donate part of the proceeds from Quantum Leap to the Niola Cancer Care Foundation. The foundation is Nigeria’s first non-governmental organisation that is dedicated to creating awareness for wellness and specifically colorectal cancer. The donation will help the foundation put more efforts in research for the cure of cancer, as well as screenings and advocacy for better treatment of the killer disease,” he said.
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