BusinessDay

Segun Fagorusi tasks society on care for elderly with Ìbílẹ̀ exhibition

From September 8 – 25, 2021, lovers of visual art, artists and collectors alike will be enthralled at Ibile, a solo exhibition by Segun Fagurosi, which will be held at Mydrim Gallery, No 74b Norman Williams Street, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The exhibition will be highlighting the daily challenges and experiences elderly people go through due to the unfavourable attitude of the society towards them.

The works on display will depict how many elderly people felt abandoned by their children who had migrated to the cities and were struggling to make ends meet.

The stories of their productive youthful days, the failure of the past governments to provide basic infrastructure and their gratuity touch the artist’s heart. Segun was very impressed with their simple community development projects and the positive manner in which they manage their lives.

Over the years, Segun has painted various themes but recently his focus moved to painting elderly people in rural areas. The change was inspired by his participation in a church event, which provided medical support for the elderly in rural communities. The event made it possible for him to interact with the elderly as they in turn expressed gratitude that the church and youths from the cities were interested in their well-being.

Fagorusi’s perception of the elderly people had changed to capture their wrinkled skin and basic lifestyle, taking on a new interpretation. Instead of the mundane and uncouth, he saw resilience, strength of character, dignity of labour, hope and joy in the midst of adversity.

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At a media interactive session held in Lagos recently, Segun remarked that elderly people are living treasures that should be preserved for the purpose of values in the society.

“Generally, when you have old people around, you tend to be respectful towards them. If the old people like you, they will pass on an important message to you before they die; they speak with proverbs and wisdom that guide your life”, he said.

The realist artist observed the uncaring attitude of people about the old people but prefer giving societal burial to their parents when they die just to show they loved them but in pretence.

“Everybody around the elderly seems uncaring to them when they are alive. They prefer giving them expensive burial, whereas when they were alive, little or no care was given to them.”

The Obafemi Awolowo University graduate of Arts said the exhibition would draw people’s attention to travel home and attend to the needs of their aging parents.

Fagorusi technique employs the use of brush, oil acrylic. A lot of time he used acrylic for the background of any of his works.

Speaking on his influence in the art, he said, “My brother was my major influence. Then I used to do a lot of sketches. I picked it up from there”.

He enjoys reading literary works including poetry, novels (by China Achebe, Elechi Amadi, and music (jazz). Beyond addressing social ills, he likes to discuss the core of political ills.

Speaking further, Fagorusi said he likes to draw something dramatic that will make people laugh, as the art in him has influenced the younger artists to see the profession beyond money-making but something that connects with value.

Speaking on the exhibition, Sinmidele Adesanya, director, Mydrim Gallery, said the exhibition is a must-see because Segun has participated in the several exhibitions at the gallery with his works always well-received.

According to Mydrim Gallery director, the artist is an amazing realist painter and has interpreted the experiences of the elderly he visited in great detail with a beautiful combination of colours. “We, like Segun, have connected with the subjects of his paintings and can “hear” their stories. Like him, we not only see the beauty in the ordinary but also the spectacular in his paintings. We invite you to share his experiences and purchase his paintings to enrich your collection. It will definitely be a good store of value and a worthy investment”, she said.

Also, describing Segun as ‘a man on a mission’ Abiodun Olaku, an artist, said, “He is a tremendously-gifted artist whose keen sense of interrogative and philosophical temperament, as clearly observed by me, seamlessly binds his personal and professional essence. In his work, his interest in the simple but not unimportant day-to-day human activities and vocations are notable”.

Open to the public, the feed-backs from people so far indicates a positive outlook for the seventeen-day art exhibition.

The exhibition dates are as follows: Set up is on September 8, private preview on 9th and 10th, while opening and closing are September 11 and 25th respectively at Mydrim Gallery Ikoyi Lagos.

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