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Galari debuts to refresh Lagos visual art space, woos unconforming artists

Galari debuts to refresh Lagos visual art space, woos unconforming artists

The Lagos visual art landscape has welcomed a new entrant in its growing portfolio.

‘Galari’, the new offering, opened on June 10, 2023 at Ikeja, Lagos.

Owned and operated by Art Media Africa, the new art gallery, which offers services beyond visual art, is targeted at unconforming artists who have no limitations in their creative imaginations and outputs.

“We are not stereotype. Our space is for artists that are none confirming; artists that do not have limit or boundary to their work,” Oluwatobi Adebule, co-founder, Art Media Africa and Galari, said at the opening ceremony.

Explaining further he said that the idea of the gallery has been on for over a decade and was fueled by the challenges young artists face, especially lack of art-friendly spaces to showcase their works.

“After running Art Media Africa, our media arm, for over a year, we discovered that a lot of artists have little representations and awareness for their works. “So, we started Art Media Africa to promote these artists that do not have platforms to showcase themselves and their works across Africa and globally,” Adebule said.

The gallery, according to him, is proposed to be a space where everything art can take place.

“We have a podcast network and studios , photo studio, makeup studio, an apartment for residences, among other facilities,” the art entrepreneur said.

Explaining the gallery’s name, he said that it is derived from the pronunciation of gallery as ‘Galari’ by the Yoruba people in Nigeria.

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However, the new gallery opened with an inaugural exhibition titled, ‘In Search’, a joint exhibition, featuring recent works by seven budding Nigerian artists with works across paintings, ceramic, sculpture, photography, recycled art, sound and installations.

The participating artists incude: Kolawole Olalekan, Adetutu Adediran, Adeniyi Adewole, Konboye Eugene, Olúbùnmi Atéré, Seyi Akinwumi and Noma Osula.

On what informed the choice of the artists, the art entrepreneur said the artists’ kind of works; none conforming art.

“For us, they are artists that are not using the everyday material to create their works,” he said.

Excited to participate in the exhibition, Konboye Eugene, an Auchi Polytechnic trained painter noted that it has offerred him opportunity to network with creative minds and to sharpen his skills.
Adetutu Adediran, a Chemistry graduate, who now does photography for a living, noted that the exhibition is a veritable platform to further showcase her creativity in the photography space.

Also, in his curatorial statement, Mathew Oyedele, curator of the exhibition, noted that the theme of the exhibition also coincided with the aim of establishing the space, which is easing the difficulty of finding spaces for art exhibitions as well as the search for artists who walk lonely paths in the industry.

Looking at the works, the curator offered the public reasons to visit the new gallery to see the works.

Starting with Kolawole Olalekan’s works, he noted that the artist marks a vivid departure from his social commentaries on Lagos. In these pieces, humans are depicted in Ostriches’ typical positions as metaphors for Nigerian citizens and their political situations. Their hidden heads and visible bodies act as protective shields from being targeted.

Adetutu Adediran’s conceptual photographs are inspired by stories from her environment. Her exploration of balloon and Ghana Must Go adds volume to her minimal and punctiliously posed subjects that examine issues of migration and self-actualization.

Yoruba culture, folklore, history and fables are the backbone of Adeniyi Adewole’s work. His detached head from the human body raises curiosity and deepens the conceptual framework of the piece. Here, Adeniyi explores the Yoruba concept of Ori as a spiritual essence and the decider of a man’s journey.

Konboye Eugene put up portraits of children to reference their innocence, simplicity and unadulterated thoughts in his exploration of the techniques of stitching and pasting solid flip flops. Here, Konboye connects process with subject as he relates the complicated process of creating art to training children.

Olúbùnmi Atéré’s textually rich ceramic pieces are inundated with linear engravings that are both spontaneous and calculated. In these pieces, she employs the egg shape as a symbol of vulnerability and freedom.

Distorted lines and inks are threads that weave Seyi Akinwunmi’s abstract and conceptual figures together. In these works, she confronts the audience with present memories of herself and her immediate environment.

Noma Osula’s photograph hides the face of the subject behind a flowing hairstyle and continues his interest in studying and capturing people in fiddly positions. Here, Osula presents an anonymous subject that stands against mainstream narratives and standards.

Moreover, with the opening exhibition, Gálárì aims to be an art space that gives artists a sense of belonging and present creative energies that are non-conforming.

In Search runs from June 11-25,2023, at Galari, which is located at #30 Oluwaleimu Street, Off Toying Street, Ikeja, Lagos.