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NigeriaDecides2023

Alexis Galleries presents Balance by Chukwemeka Osisiego

From May 14 – 28, 2022, Alexis Galleries, Africa’s contemporary art gallery, will be presenting Balance, a solo exhibition by Chukwuemeka Osisiego.

The two weeks exhibition, which holds at the gallery located at N282 Akin Olugbade Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, will feature eight wood works by the artist.

Speaking on the title, ‘Balance’, the artist, a graduate of Fine and Applied Art from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, noted that there is need to achieve moderation in every aspect of human life for fairness and justice for all.

For him, life itself is a balance as excess of everything is bad. “In life, you don’t take things too far. Don’t do things in an extreme way; you need to consider balance.” Osisiego explained.

The artist cited the balance of duties and responsibilities as shared between husbands and wives to achieve a good marriage, arguing that a situation where domestic chores are left to burden one party could trigger problems.

But how did Osisiego incorporate his philosophy of balance into his art works?

“I encapsulate balance in all my works. I teach the ability to share to maintain a balance. You must be talented in your chosen career or profession to achieve a balance.

“As an artist, I trade my business with a medical doctor, farmer, lawyer, among others. But when I need their services, I pay for it because I cannot be an artist and at the same time a medical doctor. God has spread talents so that people can work and provide various goods or services to others to break monopoly.”

Osisiego explains that what fascinates him is wood burning, which is a process of his art production.

“The effect of burning the wood fascinates me a lot. Burning of woods goes through a process. The essence of burning the wood for my works is to preserve the works for a long life span”, he said.

Read also: Alexis Galleries launches new height in art promotion with rebranded gallery, FATE residency

The Anambra- born artist said that the uniqueness of the exhibition is that he used his works to address the socio-political lacuna in the country, insisting that only balance and fairness in the scheme of things would provide answers to anti-social in the country.

In his curatorial statement, Mathew Oyedele, curator of the exhibition, explained that Balance is a body of work consisting of 8 wood panels that seeks to maintain a stable line between law and order, stillness and movement, dearth and abundance, courage and cowardice, alienation and commitment.

According to him, reflecting on the concept of moderation and stability, the exhibition examines and dialogue with the idea of balance between two extremes; what Aristotle termed “Maintaining the Golden Mean.

“In this exhibition, large scale colourful wood panels with Uli, Nsibidi and spontaneous motifs from the artist are presented as a continuation of his dedication to wooden exploration. His processes begin with the sourcing of woods from Apapa port, Lagos, where he buys woods from local women who gather packing case woods from containers that transport cars and heavy equipment into Nigeria. He thereafter cut the woods into segments before subjecting them to other processes like burning, blowing, drawing, engraving, priming and painting. He employs Uli, Nsibidi and other African motifs to expatiate, elaborate and deepen the narrative of his pieces,” the curator said.

Also speaking on the exhibition, Patty Chidiac Mastrogiannis, founder, Alexis Galleries, noted that the exhibition is a step in the right direction, which the gallery is proud to take. The artist, according to her, was part of a group exhibition of wood etching at the gallery in 2009 and has gone on to build on his strength and skills since then. “He continues to probe the depth of wooden exploration and we are not surprised by the outcome of his pieces.

“His works in this exhibition are testament to his observation of and relation with his environment and we hope you see these and more as you relate and emerge with the pieces on display”, she concluded.

In its tradition of donating part of the proceeds of the exhibition to charity, Alexis Galleries will be favouring Mother Theresa, a non-governmental organization, as the beneficiary.
Alexis Galleries also appreciates sponsors of the exhibition for their support including; Pepsi, Tiger, Indomie, Mikano, The Guardian, AMG Logistics, Haier Thermocool, U.P.S, Aina Blankson, Lost in a City, Cobranet, Art Cafe, Wazobia TV, Ashir Design, Nigerian Info FM and Rentokil Boecker.

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