• Monday, April 15, 2024
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Otoki uses art for environmental, cultural advocacy

Otoki uses art for environmental, cultural advocacy

…as Mydrim Gallery hosts artist’s second solo exhibition

Having held successful exhibitions, both solo and group, in his over three decades career as a visual artist, Oluwafemi Otoki, a renowned painter, has come of age.

No doubt, the Ekiti State indigene and Yaba College of Technology trained painter has enthralled the art world and collectors in particular with his creative ingenuity with many exciting works to his credit.

Yet, he often goes out of his way to use his craft as a means of advocacy on topical issues in the society, especially on the need for the preservation of the environment and cultural heritage across the country.

This time, the painter is furthering his advocacy for the preservation of the environment with an exhibition he titled ‘Landscapes of My Fatherland’.

The exhibition, which is his second solo, after his first at Signature Gallery, about two years ago, runs for two weeks, from March 16-30, 2024, Mydrim Gallery, Norman Williams Street, Ikoyi, Lagos.

On display will be 19 works covering a period of four years, but all crafted to support a good environment and preserve something for the future.

Speaking on the rationale behind the exhibition, he noted that it is about time somebody documents all the beautiful landscapes in the country before fast-paced urban development erodes them.

“I want to document the landscapes for future generations to see what their town used to be before development and for posterity too,” he said.

“We need to document our environment because overtime we have seen that when development comes, the landscape changes as skyscrapers or housing estates impact our environment”.

The artist, who derives inspiration for his painting by traveling, noted that “anytime I travel, I see beautiful landscapes that adore the eyes and tell stories about us and I try to document them”.

However, among the 19 works on display, he loves those that portray ‘nature untouched’; hence landscapes that are the way God created them appeal to him the most.

Citing an instance with one of his works ‘The Pond at Shimawa’, he explained that the pond has been that way since creation.

“But overtime, development will get to that area and the pond will lose its natural appeal and that is why I am documenting it now for the future,” he said.

Explaining why the exhibition is being curated by Mydrim Gallery, he noted that he has been in contact with the Ikoyi-based gallery for over two decades now and have had group shows at the gallery in the past too.

Of course, he has a salient message to pass across with the exhibition.

“We need to be serious in preserving our cultural heritage and in protecting our environment. We will benefit from doing that and lose a lot for neglecting that,” he warned.

On the reason for the title, he said, “My vision as an artist is to document as many landscape sceneries as possible in the country and that is why I titled this exhibition Landscapes of My Fatherland’”.

Once again, the exhibition will be held from March 16-30, 2024, Mydrim Gallery, Norman Williams Street, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Otoki and the Mydrim Gallery team await your visit!