Creative Art: Enebeli Tony Art People
In our everyday lives changes occur, either good or bad the world keeps evolving. Growth or development occur even when people try to hold on to the past. There’s not much we can do about people that keep remembering the way things used to be – the traditions and cultures that change is blowing away. Tony Enebeli is one of those people. His art holds on to the past. You’ll find though that it holds on only to the good bits of the past. Most of his art focuses on the tradition of people in the Anioma area – their festivals, cultures, habits, daily life – all those things that modernity has eroded. Some of these festivals are if not forgotten today and emasculated version of what they used to be. His Ukpalabo series deals with the major ceremony in his village. The point in the year when all members of the village living outside the village are expected to return home.
To mark the occasion, the oldest women in the village, followed by a procession, walks into a hut and break a gourd. To many people living in the cities, this sort of activity isn’t even a memory it’s just something that is alien. To a few it’s a distant memory. These festivals, like many aspects of Enebeli’s themes are fast disappearing. His works are records to show that these things once existed; testament for a future generation. Some artists might choose to capture the good and the bad.His themes deal with the more pleasant aspects of our past and ignore the dark underside of the recent past. The festivals are joyous, the people vibrant, the patterns pleasing and uncomplicated.
Enebeli’s work depict the rich African culture and traditions, the beautiful image should be treasured and displayed in Nigeria art galleries. He leaves the dark, complicated side of the past to other artists. He has the passion for African festivals he dwells on and says his mission is to build a bridge between the old traditions and the new ways so people can see where they are coming from and can better appreciate where they are going. He insists the past isn’t just about the shrines and the occult but also about the wonderful festivals that brought people together. Enebeli decided at an early stage to explore Nigerian tradition . He however was clear on what he wanted to achieve and saw the recreation of these festivals and events as a tool, a tool to uncover the gems that a fast disappearing from Nigerian society – sharing, caring, harmony unity.
Source: The Hour Glass Gallery
Art design: Enebeli Tony