Kolapo votes social mediate beauty for breast cancer
As communication, specifically via the social media links, increases art appreciation, health information, among others, are also made to tag along. From this dynamic narrative in social media, artist Olorunyemi Kolapo picks breast cancer awareness as a factor in projecting his art.
With his solo show titled, Social Mediate, at the Alexis Galleries, Victoria Island, Lagos, Kolapo articulates the feminine perspective of the theme. He brings into the breast cancer awareness narrative, a series he calls Awelewa (The Beautiful).
The work, which is rendered in realism medium with charcoal or oil on canvas, he plants portraits of beautiful ladies on embroidered part of elongated necks.
Kolapo’s work, inspired by the effect of social media on personal and professional careers of users, adds a touch of subtle and monochromatic texture onto Lagos art landscape.
“The theme is based on the effect of social media on my career,” Kolapo declared ahead of the exhibition.
As a twin exhibition holding at the same time and space with group show Faces and Places II, the breast cancer awareness was the common factor that the two shows shared.
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, the exhibition aimed to create awareness of cancer and educate people on the importance and value of early detection, Alexis said. “Social Mediate is dedicated to my mother and other strong women in the world, who have actually fought cancer and those who were taken by cancer,” the curator and gallery founder, Patty Chidiac-Mastrogiannis explained.
For Kolapo, recent advancements and access to information technology have heralded a new era in the dissemination of health information. He noted that in the past, radio, television, and print media (including posters, pamphlets, and magazines) were dominant techniques used in dissemination of preventive health messaging campaigns. But the role of social media has changed the narrative.
“Indeed, the growth of the internet as a significant source for health information has been established, and achieved in large part by the advent of social media,” he stated.
He argues that the social media being a ‘communication channel’ for messages “provides easy and cost-effective opportunities for users to generate, share, receive and comment on digital content, in the form of words, pictures, videos, and or audio”.
He explained how “engagement with online content has now become a participatory activity and anyone with access to the internet can now obtain information almost instantaneously.”
Art, he noted, is one of the most attractive and engaging content on social media, adding, “Therefore, using art to illustrate and campaign for breast cancer on social media will go a long way to boost the campaign and get people more involved than ever.”
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 was part of Alexis’ CSR.
“As part of our corporate social responsibility, part of the proceeds from this exhibition will be donated to BRECAN”, the curator said. “Every year we are going to do a show for people who survived cancer and those suffering from cancer.”
However, the exhibition also had its root in Chidiac-Mastrogiannis’s personal experience with cancer, as she said, “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. I hope that we will be able to make a difference with this exhibition and I hope that we will be able to join yearly and do what we can at Alexis Galleries.”
She noted that Social Mediate is an exhibition of beautiful touch to art that is connected mostly to women. The works, she said, are limited edition as “they have the cancer foundation logo, worldwide.”