Mádé In Lagos… A cultural documentation of cityscape
It is popularly believed that no one can better tell the story of a society than an artist. He/she captures the society like a prophet will do and present its future as if he were sketching. This description best fits 21-year-old student of Botany from the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Emma Odumade.
Like every artist, who aspires to tell the story of a society, Odumade tries to create works that deal with time, as well as alter narratives.
In his solo show titled, Made in Lagos, he creates his own narrative while observing the daily routines of society. His subjects recreate experiences with a level of futuristic perception and not fantastical projections.
The Lagos-born artist, in his first solo show, unveils 25 works that focus on hyper-realistic drawings. He explores themes such as identity, social constructs, and the daily existence of people.
Odumade’s works primarily involve pencils, which he views as a medium of expressions such as activism and reconnecting with personal stories and experiences.
He also emphasises children in his works as he feels a personal connection with them, and they represent innocence and beginning within his creations.
The colours green and blue embedded in most of the works represent an opposite of the cliché Lagos colours, black and yellow, and introduces a play of an alternate reality.
At its core, Odumade takes his audience through his lived experience in the economic heart of Nigeria, giving his viewers new eyes to observe the mundane and giving it layered context that forces the viewer to understand that the city is built of both things seen and hidden.
Over the course of his career, he has gained notoriety for his talent with intertwining various mediums and has gained the appraisal of his peers.
Curated by Princess Ayoola of the African Artists’ Foundation (AAF), Mádé in Lagos: Green & Blue is the first solo exhibition of Odumade.
The exhibition, which ended on January 16, 2022, opened December 11, 2021.
“I am documenting culture. We are going to die one day and I feel the culture may probably change, so, I am documenting now so people born hundred years from now will learn our ways of life. Each colour of my work has a different meaning. I decided to work with green and blue for this exhibition because they are my best two colours, so, each of the paintings has blue or green. I just cut out Odu from my surname for the theme of the show and for the title Made, I am telling a story from my perspective.”
Ayoola said: “One of our goals in AFF is to nurture young artists. We’ve been following Odumade’s career from the start. He’s part of the collective of artists nurtured by Ken Nwadiogbu.
“Odumade’s work is greatly impacted by his everyday life in Lagos. The show is about Lagos, in Lagos.”