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Sense of Self still runs at Wheatbaker till New Year

Sense of Self still runs at Wheatbaker till New Year

Since November 2, 2021, Sense of Self, an enthralling exhibition marking the 10 years anniversary of Wheatbaker Hotel Ikoyi, has been on.

The exhibition by Olawunmi Banjo, a self-taught Nigerian visual artist, whose enthralling works speak volume of her creative ingenuity, celebrates the Ikoyi, Lagos-based boutique hotel for the past 10 years of providing a platform for upcoming and established Nigerian artists to showcase their works and creative ingenuity to its global guests, and also for creating more awareness and networking for the artists.

The exhibition, which is curated by SMO Contemporary Art, opened at the hotel on November 2, 2021 and will run until January 15, 2022.

As well, the exhibition is offering many reasons to visit the hotel, especially this festive season and afterwards.

First, the artist, Olawunmi Banjo is among top Nigerian female artists on the rise. Her technique is unique; she paints figures woven together by electrical wires in acrobatic dance poses, leaping through time and space, and propelled by a colorful surge of electric energy.

When you see one, you will like to see more because of their sustained connecting excitement.

Also, she is so organized and her works too, hence she explores three central themes with the works: accepting self, letting go of the past and embracing present moments.

The themes sum her quest to encourage people to embrace and accept humanity through art.

Again, the works represent her ode to life-long journey towards self-realization and actualization, with clarity coming by aligning with our inner being.

You also need to see the exhibition because the artist uses her art to give voice to the voiceless, inspires, energises and shapes minds and societies.

“Art is the medium through which I create, add value and convey messages to people. I have found surrealism and realism useful in depicting my ideas, enabling people who view my works to grasp the message embedded in each piece”, she says about her art.

Speaking on the exhibition, Olawunmi says the works are her most recent and are paintings of expressive wire figures, which is her way of describing a being and the countless energy that flows with each one of us.

Read also: Sense of Self: Insights and reflections of Olawunmi Banjo

“The various expressions of art are a unifying force in bringing together people from diverse backgrounds to share a rare but meaningful experience in life”, she says.

Moreover, Nneoma Ilogu, the curator of the exhibition and manager at SMO Contemporary Art, is offering more reasons Sense of Self is a must-see exhibition.

“Olawunmi Banjo’s works speak to deepened self-awareness, breaking through the intense pressure of technology, social norms and the constant need for external validation. Banjo’s gaze is inward and upward, her acrobatic figures leap and fly through space despite being tethered to a visible reality”, the curator explains.

Speaking further, she notes that Banjo’s consistently presents her works with a signature style; pastel backgrounds laced with strands that are centered in the middle of the canvas by bodies extending beyond themselves, often flying in deep thought or in search for something more.

Also speaking on Banjo’s exhibition, Jess Catellote, curator, writer and director, Yemisi Shyllon Museum, notes that “Olawunmi’s works are pleasing to the eye, but below their deceptive compositional simplicity there are insights into complexity of the individual human, especially women and children and their relationship with others.”

He explains that what the artist is inviting the public to come and see in her works are the interior struggles, pain, longings, joys and hopes of human existence, which are invisible to the eyes.

Of course, the management of the hotel is inviting the public and lovers of art to the exhibition, which Mosun Ogubanjo, director, Wheatbaker, says is in sync with the hotel’s unique growth as an art inspired hotel over the past decade.

“After 10 years of showcasing leading and emerging Nigerian talents, we are excited to celebrate our anniversary month and the start of the art season in Lagos with Olawunmi Banjo’s Sense of Self exhibition”, Ogubanjo concludes, while waiting to see art lovers and guests on November 2, 2021, when the exhibition will open.