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Oghagbon Moses’ colours of Uhola 1 loud on peace, unity

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Unity, peace and tranquility remain the centerpiece of Oghagbon Eboigbodin Moses’ exhibition. From Arugungu to Colours of Uhola 1, the artist has not ceased to speak about Nigeria’s cultural relativity and diversity through his paintings and drawings, saying, ‘we are one people divided by geography.’

With Colours of Uhola 1 holding at The Moorhouse, Ikoyi, from December 8 to 22, Moses will take his audience through the cultural heritage of the people of Zuru Emirate in Kebbi State, showcasing how they live and mingle with other groups.

Each painting is full of actions, movements and exuberant colours that keep the viewer captivated. Some of his paintings like Rhythm of Uhola 1 and Collective Effort 2, both in oil on canvass, talk about cooperative effort at achieving collective goals. While the former depicts Zuru people as industrious and dutiful, the later denotes merriment, explaining that in the life of the people no individual is left out in development and running of the community’s affairs. It brings to the fore communality, the African belief of doing things in common, which keeps the various communities knitted and at peace.

On why the exhibition is tied to Zuru culture, Moses says it is a peg to reach out to other communities and people at the fringe of Zuru Emirate that are before now not heard of. According to him, Colours of Uhola 1 Art Exhibition Documentation/Representations aims to promote the culture and art of the different ethnic groups in the Zuru Emirate for generations to come.

After Colours of Uhola 1, Moses reveals that the concept will shift to other ethnic groups, projecting their culture and bringing out those aspects that unite Nigerians as a nation.

Perhaps, it is in the light of this that Moses painted Focus, Experience 2 and 3, all oil on canvass, to further express himself. While Focus shows a woman consciously scattering seeds on a vast farmland with the hope for them to germinate, Experience 2 and 3 show the painting of two different elderly men ruminating on the past, an expression Moses says, ‘they are thinking of the past with the intention to impact on the present to build a better tomorrow.’

Optimistic that Nigeria will overcome its present predicament and blossom again, Moses discloses that through arts and festivals the country can effectively act and speak in one voice, irrespective of ethnic and religious differences. According to him, ‘art gives peace of mind to viewers; it brings different people together, exposes our differences and makes one take a deep thought of things around his environment.”

In Quite Moments I, a painting of pregnant woman, Moses further expresses his thought on canvass, saying people should not be impulsive in taking decisions or actions, adding that an angry man could be likened to a pregnant woman whose actions or inactions could either bring something good or bad. He notes that giving one’s ideas a forethought before making them public would enable us tolerate dissident voices, thus make the different communities a better place to live.

It is with this conviction that Conversation and Life is Beautiful 5 and 6 fit in. While Conversation harps on dialoguing, saying, ‘jaw jaw is better than war war; Life is Beautiful reflects the beauty of the world with its diverse and varied floras, which on their own support life.

Meant to show gratitude to the Almighty for a successful planting season, Uhola festival is among major activities on the first day of the agricultural show in the Zuru Emirate. It includes the exhibition of a variety of farm produce from beans, cassava, corn, yam, tomatoes, to pepper, fruits, and sorghum among others. So, Moses’ frequent use of bright colours is a way of showing life, depicting that he is dealing with human beings.

Determined to express himself on canvass, Moses generously uses light and bright colours to create dramatic moments that capture the mood and essence of each subject matter.

Born in Lagos, the artist, a native of Omolua-Igbanke in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State, is a full time professional studio artist and tourism photographer. He attended Yaba College of Technology, Yaba, Lagos, where he graduated in 2003 with a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Fine Arts, specialising in painting. He has eight solo exhibitions and over 40 group exhibitions to his credit.


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Oghagbon Eboigbodin Moses
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