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With Recycled Matters, four artists explore space, materiality, tackle climate change

By Gregory Austin Nwakunor
26 June 2022   |   2:45 am
Recently, there have been concerns about climate change and the need to recycle, reuse and repurpose organic and inorganic wastes to reduce pollution.

Recently, there have been concerns about climate change and the need to recycle, reuse and repurpose organic and inorganic wastes to reduce pollution.

However, the artist, for one, doesn’t take rubbles and throwaway stuff by the corner as useful wastes.

Venus of colour medium: Fabric year: 2020 Size 219×226

“Artists are responding to these concerns by recycling and repurposing wastes to address and comment on issues around them,” reveals Mathew Oyedele, curator of Recycled Matter, an ongoing group show of exploratory works by Samuel Nnorom, Yusuf Durodola, Konboye Eugene and Chukwuemeka M. Osisiego at the Alexis Galleries, Lagos.

According to Oyedele, the show, which ends on June 25, “takes a vivid look at materiality and the environment.”

He says, “the exhibition examines issues that originate from the local, but are connected with vital global conversation.”

Patty Chidiac Mastrogiannis, founder, Alexis Galleries, also harps on the importance of growth in an ecosystem, which explains why the gallery is presenting Recycled Matter, “as a window into the relevance and significance of artists to respond to issues in their immediate environment, and by extension, issues around the world.”

She says historically, artists “have responded and commented on social, economical and political issues and it is not looking like it is going to stop, because art is inspired by a host of things, in which the environment is a significant part.”

For the show, Nnorom presents works that continue his examination of social structure, social organisation, the human condition and safe spaces, which began in 2020. The history and social significance of Ankara fabric take centre stage, as he dialogues with the concept of space, distribution and distance.

Exploring the techniques of stitching and pasting flip-flops, Konboye puts up portraits of children to reverence their innocence, simplicity and unpolluted thoughts. Here, Konboye connects the process with the subject, as he relates the complicated process of creating art to training children.

Osisiego continues his inquiry into the Aristotelian concept of “Maintaining the Golden Mean” where he advocates for courage and equilibrium in place of excesses and recklessness. In these pieces, he intensifies his exploratory journey by incorporating aluminium cans into his wooden materials.

Durodola sees waste from the environment as an extension of human existence and custodians of human imprints and identity.

Here, Durodola assembles automobile and electronic gadgets as well as polythene that are either sourced from the environment or obtained through the exchange to negotiate the relationship between humans, spaces and waste.

Samuel Nnorom
NNOROM hails from Isiukwuato Council, Abia and was born in Jos North Plateau State, on October 24, 1990. He discovered his talent at the age of nine while assisting his father in his shoe workshop, where he started making life drawings of customers that visited the shop. He was also influenced by his mother’s tailoring workshop, as a kid who played with colourful fabrics with sewing needles and thread. He went further to develop this talent through apprenticeship, training, workshops, exhibitions, art school and practice.

He holds a B.A Ed (Sculpture) from the University of Jos and is currently completing an M.FA in Sculpture from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He won the National Art Competition organised by the National Gallery of Art in 2010 and 2012. He also won prizes in the 2016, 2017 and 2019 editions of the Life in My City Art Festival. He was a fellow at Guest Artist Space (GAS) fellowship and residency by Yinka Shonibare Foundation in 2022.

Chukwuemeka M. Osisiego
BORN in Kaduna, 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.

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

Konboye Eugene
KONBOYE works primarily with decorated flip-flops obtained from drainages and dumping grounds. His choice of material and colourful palette is deeply rooted and built upon his training at the Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State, where he graduated with a distinction in painting.

As a student of Auchi Polytechnic, Konboye was greatly influenced by the teachings of Kent Onah, who encouraged the exploration of unconventional materials and the recycling of solid wastes to manage environmental degradation.

In 2016, he trained at the Universal Studios of Art under the guidance of Abiodun Olaku and Wallace Ejoh. Konboye was a resident artist with Omooba Yemisi Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF) in 2019, and was selected among other mosaic artists around the world for the international mosaic symposium, Patagonia.

Yusuf Durodola
DURODOLA is a Guinness World Record Achiever (Largest Painting by Number) for Ecole de dessin, Lagos, Nigeria. He was born in Ibadan, Oyo State in 1979 and attended the Federal College of Education (Technical) Akoka, where he received a Nigerian Certificate of Education and majored in Painting and Graphics. He proceeded to the University of Lagos, where he obtained his degree in Creative Arts and attained his master’s degree from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, Osun State.

His absorbing paintings were included in the 2022 Netflix Limited Series: Blood Sisters. They are also widely collected by the Nike Art Gallery in Lagos, Nigeria, Madlozi Art Gallery, South Africa, and private individual collections around the world. His paintings are everlasting archives dedicated to protecting African traditions and mores; Nigerian heritage and culture with particular emphasis on his indigenous background as a Yoruba offspring.

The show is sponsored by Pepsi, Tiger, Indomie, Mikano, The Guardian, AMG, Logistics, Haier Thermocool, U.P.S, Aina Blankson, Lost in a City, Cobranet, Art Cafe, WazobiaTV and Lipton.