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Art, design lead support for breast cancer awareness in Lagos show


When art and design returned to the same space for the second time within a year, breast cancer awareness took a lift in Lagos. Earlier, paintings on canvas and its appropriated version for cushion and pillow thrilled art and design enthusiasts at the maiden edition of Faces and Places.

Returning to the same space with eight artists, Faces and Places II opened at Alexis Galleries, Victoria Island, Lagos, in support of battle against breast cancer. Olasukanmi Oyelusi, Afeez Adetunji, Bidemi Matthew Joseph, Seye Morakinyo, Darlington A Chukwumezie, Adedotun Fashina and Samuel Olayombo are artists whose works were on display.

Designer Joanna Boer whose cushion and pillow derive their cover contents from paintings, joined the six artists in the exhibition, which, according to Alexis, was officially scheduled for opening by the First Lady of Ondo State and founder of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu.

The exhibition, the gallery explained, “was aimed at creating awareness on cancer and educate people about the importance and value of early detection”. Being one of the most active art galleries in Nigeria currently as regards regular exhibitions, Alexis insisted on its commitment to always discover and promote new talents as well as showcase the works of emerging and established artists.

On cancer awareness, the exhibition has a link to personal experience of Alexis’s founder and co-curator, Patty Chidiac-Mastrogiannis, curator at Alexis, who said, “Faces and Places II is dedicated to my mother and other strong women in the world, who have actually fought cancer and those who were taken by cancer. My mother had cancer at very late age of 75 and now she’s 81. She went through chemotherapy for one year and it affected her kidney, heart, ears and other parts of the body.”

Chidiac-Mastrogiannis recalled the effect of her mother’s cancer on the family, noting, “We saw her suffering as she went bald. Words cannot describe the emotional trauma we (her children) went through.”

The concept of painting being used as design content for cushions and pillows was “very successful” in the first exhibition, Boer enthused, hoping that “people will again love it” and recalled her business of using Nigerian content such as slogans on the products five years ago. And stepping up to what she described as “highest quality”, art is obviously playing a huge factor in the brand.

All the pieces carried the breast cancer foundation logo on them as limited editions, Chidiac-Mastrogiannis said, “As commitment to our corporate social responsibility, part of the proceeds from this exhibition will be donated to BRECAN.”

The exhibition, she assured, will be a yearly event “for people who survived and those suffering from cancer” and proudly disclosing that “this exhibition is dedicated to my mother and other strong women in the world who have fought and survived cancer, as well as those who couldn’t win the battle”, Chidiac-Mastrogiannis hoped that “we will be able to make a difference with this exhibition.”

Jointly curated by Empire Jane, the exhibition was sponsored by Pepsi, Delta Airline, Amarula, Nederburg, Cobranet Internet Service Provider, Cool FM, Wazobia FM/TV, Chocolate Royal, The Avenue Suites, Art Café and The Homestores Limited.

“We are going to be collaborating, hopefully, with the Cancer Society and give part of the proceeds to them for research and awareness devotions”, Alexis founder stressed. “Face and Places II’ is an exhibition which is a beautiful touch to art that is connected mostly to women. The works are limited edition as they have the cancer foundation logo, worldwide. Curated by two women to stress the point that it is all about women.”

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