BusinessDay

How Armstrong is capturing beauty with paper bits

Like other collage artists, Agoreyo Armstrong, an art educator is turning his artistic dreams into reality, portraying it with dexterity, capturing the hearts of lovers of art and conveying his messages without ambiguity.

The Delta-born graduate of the University of Benin is also a studio artist with focus on converting pieces of papers into collages.

“Artists choose various methods of expressing themselves using techniques such as paint, stone among others, but I chose paper because of its complex nature,” he says.

“I derive pleasure making my collage using tiny paper cuts and that is what makes my work unique,” he further says.

He was inspired into redefining artworks when he stumbled on a piece of art done by a teenager while studying for his undergraduate degree.

“I saw his collage on the television and fell in love with his medium of expression, it was made out of paper cuts and all of a sudden I thought about other ways to carve out a niche for myself using the same technique. That was how my style came into being,” he recounts.

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Influenced by social issues, the 32-year-old states that most of his pieces of art, created with paper, depict some of today’s ills confronting everyone.

“I just allow nature, music, politics or life to speak to me and I start working. I guess it’s spontaneous,” he says.

“One of my collage, for instance, ‘Intrepid generation’ talks about the wide gap between the rich and the poor; the obvious oppression where the eagle signifies the rich while the cockerel signifies the poor,” he notes.

“And in the face of intense oppression, the poor fight the rich all in a bid to make an obvious statement which is enough is enough.

“Another piece of collage I created is ‘When hope fails’. It is another piece of collage that created an in-depth perception about the mind-set of an individual set to achieving a goal irrespective of the challenges slowing him down, he never gave up,” he adds.

Armstrong is keen to reinvent the way arts are portrayed but several barriers, including exorbitant cost of materials and unfavorable government policies, are hindering its efforts.

He cited other challenges to include the perception about art in this part of the country and customers’ attitudes in terms of paying a lesser amount for a valuable piece of art.

The artist, therefore, solicited financial support and grants from government, well-meaning individuals and organizations to promote his collage works.

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