Equity, education, and female heroes in the art of Modupeola Fadugba
The Heads Up, Keep Swimming art exhibition by internationally lauded and fast-rising star, Modupeola Fadugba, will open at an invitation-only launch at Temple Muse, ahead of the much anticipated Art X Lagos Contemporary African Art weekend in Lagos, Nigeria.
Heads Up, Keep Swimming is curated by SMO Contemporary Art, and presents exciting new works by Fadugba exploring the intricate balance between competition vis-à-vis cooperation within the stormy sea of the commercially driven global art scene. Fadugba’s intricate, partially burned drawings on paper depicting female synchronized swimmers, red balls and gold leaf high lights, speak to winning in the “game of life” while considering the importance of cooperation & communal values.
Harvard educated Modupeola Fadugba (b. 1985) is a multimedia artist with degrees in engineering, economics, and education.
“Her works have drawn phenomenal interest in New York, London, and Paris this year, as she critiques feminism, social justice and education through an innovative game theory which has attracted international collectors and art enthusiasts across the world,” says Sandra Obiago, the exhibition curator, who focuses on presenting art events in non-traditional gallery spaces in Lagos.
“We are delighted to finally present Fadugba’s first solo exhibition in Nigeria to much local anticipation.”
Fadugba paints clusters of female swimmers, sometimes with the shadow of a red ball shimmering through a glistening, under-water landscape, with burn patches of paper looking like water bubbles breaking to the water surface.
She speaks about artists’ need to retain their identity and voice while learning the rules of winning in the tempestuous waters of the art world. For the exhibition opening her paintings will be exhibited alongside a live performance by synchronized female swimmers from the Ibadan International School, performing against the backdrop of Fadugba’s work.
“Together we can go farther. Each individual plays her part to benefit the collective,” explains award-winning Fadugba, who just returned from an artist residency in Casablanca, Morocco, where she worked in tandem with artists from across Africa.
A child of Nigerian diplomats, Fadugba grew up in England and the United States, benefiting from the best international opportunities, which inspired her deep commitment to use her art to fight for global access to education, especially for girls while exploring positive role models for women of color.
In the ‘Heads or Tails’ series, Fadugba uses burnt paper coins to highlight the importance of female representation on national symbols. For this exhibition she created a paper coin work with the face of Dr. Stella Adedevoh, the brave physician who identified the first ebola victim in 2014, alerting local and international health authorities and paving the way for Nigeria’s rapid and successful response to the pandemic.
“Having successfully prevented an epidemic in the most populous city in Africa, we can only wonder what would have been, if not for Dr. Adadevoh” states the artist paying tribute to this important Nigerian hero. “She lost her life for many of ours. A true hero, Dr. Adedevoh is (a) HEADS (in my art).
“We are delighted to present the amazing works of Modupeola Fadugba for our third exhibition this year, coinciding with the start of the Art X Lagos weekend” commented Avinash Wadhwani, Director of Temple Muse, Nigeria’s premiere design platform.” The exhibition is sponsored by Zircon Marine, Zenith Capital and Veuve Cliquot, and will run from November 6 – 27, 2017. The exhibition is open to the public from November 6, 2017.
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