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Conversations in Colour: Residency for five artists, five works, one venue

Conversations in Colour: Residency for five artists, five works, one venue

Beyond offering a platform for the appreciation of the arts and networking for visual art enthusiasts, and collectors, Alexis Galleries, a contemporary art promotion and development organisation, has always given priority to the development and promotion of Nigerian artists and their works.

One of the veritable platforms the Victoria Island Lagos-based gallery uses to foster healthy rivalry and honing of skills among Nigerian artists is its FATE project; an annual exhibition of works that are created by artists who spend three weeks in residence at the gallery.

However, the gallery is going out of its way to hold two residencies this year as it is known to begin each calendar year with a residency programme.

Speaking on the development, Patty Chidiac-Mastrogiannis, founder, Alexis Galleries, noted that the gallery is having two residencies in a calendar year due to its observation of the need to extend the platform to more artists.

So far, the gallery has successfully held eight residencies and is now riding on the feat to engage another set of artists in its ninth residency.

Tagged ‘Conversations in Colour’, the residency like other past editions, aims to identify, nurture, mentor, promote and equip emerging artists with space, atmosphere and information that fosters newness, deviation and critical inquiry into conventional ideas.

Conversations in Colour will feature five artists, who will present five works each across oil and acrylic, and are set to tap into their creative depth to offer the audience works that probe, address and interrogate innocence, memory, epiphany, acceptance, nostalgia, impermanence, awakening and self-discovery.

The five artists include: King Ereso, Meshach Charity, Segun Abraham, Gobe Joseph, and Ghina Sabra, the only lady among them.

Explaining the quality of artists in the residency and expectations from them, Patty noted that, “The artists in this exhibition have had interactions and talk-sessions with seasoned artists, as well as an atmosphere that allows them to create without pressure or distraction. The resulting works are therefore presented to the public as an exhibition of the artists’ creative skills”.

Presenting the artists, Mathew Oyedele, curator, Alexis Galleries, said, “King Ereso explores impasto, collage and smooth textured technique to reflect on epiphany, dreams and realization, with multiple faces around solitary figures in his heavily collaged canvases”.

What the curator cherished most about the artist is his ability to bring the audience into his fascination with the RED hue as a metaphor for hope, strength and passion. His works come under RED, a series, which means Realising Every Dream.

Speaking on his love for the colour red, Ereso, who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Nigeria, Nsukka, explained that he uses red in more positive ways than danger, which it often connotes.

On the part of Meshach Charity, a graduate of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Uyo, it is all about negotiating the canvas space with school-children. The artist, who lives and works in Ibadan, uses his childhood experiences as a point of departure into children’s coping mechanisms under pressures from parents and teachers. All the fives works he is presenting at the residency all focus on school children as he the artist, whose father wanted to be a lawyer, looks into the concept of distraction, focus, nostalgia and innocence in his reflection of past experiences.

But Segun Abraham’s works are worth seeing because of the uniqueness in their presentation and techniques as his canvases are replete with lines, patterns, beauty, pride, expectation and joy through the expressions of his subjects.

The artist, who loves and gets inspiration from cartoons and comic illustrations, brings that liveliness into his works, which are replete with African motifs, traditional symbols, flora patterns, among others.

Read also: GVIP sets to hold its first exhibition to empower young professionals and entrepreneurs

His works, which are mostly portraits, are on the viewer’s face, with all the senses engaged.

Ghina Sabra, a trained architect turned multimedia artist, takes you into her world with works, (though abstract) that are expressions of her self-reflection, self-awareness, self-examination and self-discovery.

The artist, who is originally Lebanese but lives in London, and also works on layers and layers of colour, said, “I love colours, they give you good energy”.

She is presenting five works with some titles like Dream Weavers, Mona/Lisa, Unity, The Embodiment, and Self Lover.

Gobe Joseph, a protégée of Oluwole Omofemi, is presenting works that are influenced by his environment. The Polytechnic, Ibadan Fine Art graduate, fields works that showcase female teenagers and also a departure from his mentor’s technique.

Speaking on the impact of the residency, Charity said that it has afforded him opportunity to for beneficial exchange with the participating artists. “I am a realist, and I have met abstract and expressionist artists here and I have learnt a lot from them”, he said.

Ghina is also grateful to Alexis Galleries for pairing her with the males in the residency and has learnt a lot from their exchanges.

In the tradition of giving some percentage of the proceeds of the exhibition to charity, Patty noted that the gallery would be adopting Little Sisters of the Poor as a Non-Governmental and Not-for-profit organisation to give back to the society.

The residency, which started on August 8, will end on August 28, 2022.

Most importantly, the exhibition 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, Lipton, Wazobia TV, Nigeria Info FM and Rentokil Boecker.