Riding on the hugely successful 106 Expressions, her solo exhibition, which took place at Eko Atlantic Lagos in June 2022, Olubukola Bolarinde, an extraordinarily gifted hand, is returning a year after with another enthralling show.
This time, Olubukola Bolarinde, an artist, who describes herself as a storyteller and a creative, is presenting, ‘The Absence of Melancholy’, a collection of artworks that address mental health, which is a very important topic in the world today.
The solo exhibition will take place on June 30, 2023 at Ebonylife Place, Ademola Adetokunbo Street, Victoria Island, Lagos by 5: 00pm.
It will feature a body of work by the artist across different media. “This body of work is of a variety of media, mostly acrylics and oils on canvas. The use of texture helps add the needed layers to place the viewer in context and achieve a tactile, immersive experience. With this collection, I am not telling stories; but evoking emotions,” Olubukola said.
Speaking on the title of the exhibition, Olubukola, CEO of Yellow Dot Limited, a leading creative curation/production company, a trained architect, designer, and filmmaker, said that mental health is a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community.
“It is an integral component of health and well-being that underpins our individual and collective abilities to make decisions, build relationships and shape the world we live in.
“Mental health is a basic human right. And it is crucial to personal, community and socio-economic development. Mental health is more than the absence of mental disorders.
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“It includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices, the artist said.
As well, she has drawn inspiration from her own personal coping mechanisms and support systems; whilst navigating a very stressful world.
She further clarified the air on melancholy saying that it is a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause while cheerful is noticeably happy and optimistic. “With melancholy, the displeasurable or negative aspects lie in feelings of loneliness, emptiness, desolation, sadness from loss, and the fear or dread that sometimes accompanies longing.
“These days it is called depression, a state of low mood. A major depressive mood disorder, a subject we do not talk enough about.
“The word melancholy is synonymous with sadness, dejection, despondency, gloom. Melancholic persons are often dispirited, sorrowful, dismal, doleful, glum and downcast and too engrossed in our own lives that we hardly notice.
“People have often asked me how I stay so happy, most of the time. I read once that suffering and disappointment are thought to be core parts of our universal experience. No one, they say, can be happy all the time, and melancholy is a necessary feeling—not a disorder. The balance comes in knowing how to deal with grief, reality, and hard times that help us understand all aspects of life”.
While mental health is a topic that needs to be spoken about more often and even more valid is its enrichment through art, Olubukola insisted that the ability of visual art to impact positively, on the quality and state of one’s mental health; cannot be overlooked.
The opening piece of the exhibition, according to her, is a true depiction of the word Melancholy. “As you gaze upon this piece, you are drawn into the sombre state of a pensive woman’s face. Devoid of any excitement or joy. “This, is the backdrop against which I present my entire collection; in sharp contrast. Think of all the opposites of the word Melancholy. Cheerfulness, happiness, joy, vibrancy, hope, excitement, alive, thrive, blossom, bloom, colourful,” she concluded.