Saturday, 30th September 2023

In new show, Osisiego interrogates Balance

By Sunday Aikulola
15 May 2022   |   3:55 am
Yesterday, Chukwuemeka Michaels Osisiego’s solo show opened at Alexis Galleries, on Akin Olugbade, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Yesterday, Chukwuemeka Michaels Osisiego’s solo show opened at Alexis Galleries, on Akin Olugbade, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Titled, Balance, a reflection on moderation and stability, the show examines and dialogues with the idea of balance between two extremes, that is, an interrogation of what Aristotle termed, ‘Maintaining the Golden Mean’.

According to Matthew Oyedele, curator of the show, “the Nigerian society is filled with unrest, injustice and religious troubles, and the artist has gone from his previous themes of spirituality, communication and reproduction, among others, to present the audience with works that call for courage and equilibrium in place of excesses and recklessness.”

He added, “in this exhibition, large scale colourful wood panels with Uli, Nsibidi and spontaneous motifs from the artist are presented as a continuation of his dedication to wooden exploration. His processes begin with the sourcing of woods from Apapa port, Lagos, where he buys them from local women, who gather packing case woods from containers that transport cars and heavy equipment into Nigeria.

“He, thereafter, cuts the woods into segments before subjecting them to other processes such as burning, blowing, drawing, engraving, priming and painting. He employs Uli, Nsibidi and other African motifs to elaborate and deepen the narrative of his pieces.”

Oyedele noted, “Balance is a body of work consisting of eight wood panels that seek to maintain a stable line between law and order, stillness and movement, dearth and abundance, courage and cowardice, alienation and commitment.”

For the founder, Alexis Galleries, Patty Chidiac Mastrogiannis,” Osisiego in a solo exhibition is a step in the right direction, which the gallery is proud to take. The artist was part of a group exhibition of wood etchings at the gallery in 2019 and has gone on to build on his strength and skills since then. He continues to probe the depth of wooden exploration and we are not surprised by the outcome of his pieces.

“His works in this exhibition are testament to his observation of and relation with his environment and we hope you see these and more as you relate and engage with the pieces on display.”

Born in Kaduna, Nigeria, Osisiego started out as a painter before delving into wooden exploration, which has given him a voice and an identity. He studied Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka with a specialisation in painting and works primarily with acrylic on wood panels.

He spends his time communicating with the locals and tracing the arrival of packing case woods at the Apapa port in Lagos, and thereafter, moving them to his studio for artistic exploration.

He is inspired by nature, culture and his environment and has participated in a number of shows and auctions. He lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria.