• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Ogunwo, UNILAG don, showcases rich art at exhibition in Lagos


It was a week of exhibition of an array of paintings by Bolaji Ogunwo, a lecturer at the University of Lagos. The exhibition was titled “Terra Firma.” It was opened on Sunday, July 16th and ended Saturday, July 22nd 2023.

Wheras, the popular opinion is that the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic was all about negatives in human history, Ogunwo used his exhibition to point out that the pandemic had some positives it impacted in human existence.

During the event, art enthusiasts flocked the venue to catch a glimpse of the works of the Artist.

At the opening event, that kick-started the exhibition, the artist, a senior lecturer in the Department of Arts, University of Lagos, Nigeria, explained the concept of “Terra Firma”, which he said means solid ground.

He said: “I am trying to chronicle the gains from the COVID-19 pandemic. We all have stories (about the pandemic), so I am just telling stories with this exhibition. I don’t have to tell you about the pandemic. You witnessed it in your space, and you know how you survived. We’ve heard the tales of pains of the pandemic, the losses – we lost loved ones, people lost their jobs, etc. The pandemic year was a big tragedy.

“But if we look through, we will see that there are things we gained. That is what Terra Firma is all about. “We went through the furnace of the pandemic, but we gain more capacity when we go through the furnace of adversity.

“COVID worked against everything we worked for. It shut doors, messed things up, and locked everything down. People were losing money – the airports, railways, etc. It was a period of inactivity, but we snapped out of it. And I think what we have left now is a higher version of mankind. Having gone through all of those adversities, that furnace has forged the capacity we have discovered.”

According to him, “One of those capacities is a quicker way of doing things, such as the entrenchment of virtual life.

“We could have done this meeting (the press conference) online. For instance, I have attended three meetings in one day at different locations (in the U.K, Abuja, and Lagos) while seated in my house.

“So, for this exhibition, I am saying the more we look, the more we see. It used to be ‘the more you look, the less you see’. COVID has removed that veil. The more we look now, the more we see.”

The university don also told our reporter that twenty paintings were exhibited at Terra Firma. Among the pieces are “Ground Prix” 2023 (Acrylic on canvas, 135 x 210 cm); “Solid Ground” 2022 (Oil on canvas, 105 x 135 cm); “Up and Running” 2023 (Oil on Canvas, 105 x 135 cm); “Armoured” 2023 (Oil on Canvas, 105 x 135 cm); “Songs of Freedom” 2023 (Oil on Canvas, 105 x 135 cm), among others.

In his artist’s statement, he said: “The repertoire in this exhibition represents a continuation of my exploration of similar subjects in the past, while also incorporating a new departure into the broad material technique that characterises the foundation of my compositions.”