• Monday, June 24, 2024
businessday logo


‘Stories’ unleashes unbridled creativity in Abuja

‘STORIES’ unleashes unbridled creativity in Abuja

It is very evident that the artists creating mostly in recent decades have sought to sustain what they see or whatever inspires them in different themes as the dominant paradigm.

For many of the artists, more so in the visual form, art has become distinctive, frequently highlighting the aesthetical maneuvering leading considerably to unique expressive conjuration.

And the expressions in most visual arts, regardless of the status of the artist, just as it were at the STORIES, an exhibition held on March 30, 2024 at the Centre for Art and Creative Talent, SHM Complex, Mabushi, Abuja, have always been quite imaginatively constructive.

It was a remarkable display of creativity, experimentation, and innovation. The works on display at the STORIES were all in alignment with the absolute poetry and the curating offerings by Edumoh, Mary John and Iwetan Eyituoyo. The exhibition was well-curated, with a clear blend of the artistic nuances and visual balance. According to the curators, the pop-up event was a celebration of the limitless potential of expression; a gathering of diverse voices and perspectives brought to bear under one roof.

“With no specific theme to confine us, we have embraced the freedom to explore the vast landscape of human experience, inviting artists from all walks of life to share their unique stories and perspectives through their chosen mediums.

“Within these, you will find an eclectic mix of emotions, ideas, and experiences brought to life by the transformative power of art.”

The STORIES is a collective dedicated to showcasing diverse narratives through various mediums, fostering a community of talented underground artists, and promoting the transformative power of art and storytelling.

The STORIES, in the words of the curators, “is an alternative space art exhibition featuring brilliant artists and showcasing the rich underground culture of art while facilitating conversations around art and between artists”. It is a space for growth and connection with the arts that shock and awaken.

The use of spacing and labeling had enhanced the overall viewing experience, else a few artworks would have felt cramped or overpowered by neighbouring creations.

The exhibition was a testament to the creativity and potential of emerging talents. While some artworks excel in technical skill, conceptual depth, and emotional resonance, others require further refinement and development. A good number of artworks evoke strong emotions ranging from joy, self-discovery, and wonder to melancholy and introspection. A few of them actually created a lasting impression that could linger in the mind long after the exhibition, though some failed to resonate, feeling disconnected or emotionally demanding, tasking some of the artists to pay attention to details and execution, and to engage with the art world for inspiration and mentorship.

Also at the STORIES were artistic expressions in various media such as acrylic on canvas, photography, and thought-provoking installations. Emmanuel Uloko’s The Naive Loverboy; Maybe there’s hope for me after all (The Magician’s Tale) (2024) oil on canvas; Monalisa (2022) ballpoint pen and ink on paper; Old Ville Downtown (2024) by Oryiman Agbaka; 9/11 (2017) oil on canvas; Abstract City Scape (2022) oil on canvas; Night Life City Scape (2019) oil on canvas by Mayowa Nasiru, and Nze Obidike’s Temple Run(2024) and Young Bull, Old Bull (2024), captured very personal but familiar themes. So also were the works by Alex Beamar, Homachi Excel, Mannie Tseayo, Timothy Victor, Hauwa Eeyman, Rani Eladeka(The Alien Creator), Bill Phillips, Somtochukwu Nzeribe, Jason Udo–Umeh, and Abdallah OmeizaYaqub.

The highlight of the event was the open mic session which lasted from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. where poets, musicians, and instrumentalists took the stage to share their stories and melodies, as well, the artists were there to tell and to offer emotional depth on their works. Many artists demonstrated a good understanding of colour theory, composition, and perspective. Some artworks showcase impressive technical skills. However, a few others would have been a lot better in refinement, in proportion, scale, and execution.

Some of the artists actually presented thought-provoking and original ideas, exploring themes such as identity, love, faith, belief, dream, power, imagination, myth, culture, relationship, likeness, nature, and other issues. There were some that successfully pushed boundaries, challenging the viewer’s perceptions and sparking meaningful introspections. Conversely, some of the works felt derivative, lacking a clear artistic voice or message.

The event appears to run in editions; the 2024 edition follows the one that took place in 2023. Then the STORIES was “an alternative space art exhibition in collaboration with the Female Artists’ Association of Nigeria (FEAAN) featuring brilliant artists and showcasing the rich underground culture of art while facilitating conversations around art and between artists. It was to ponder anticulture in the ether; to seek to ignite a dialogue between contrasting artistic realms, through the collision of maximalist art and ethereal installations. The exhibition was a space for growth and connection with the arts such as paintings, installation, video and prints. Probably, there will be another edition next year.