Fe­male Artists Lift Nige­ria’s Cul­tural Her­itage With Art-mo­sphere

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - VISUAL ARTS - By Ben­jamin Olisah

NIGE­RIA is a coun­try blessed with di­verse eth­nic groups. Each group has a com­pen­dium of unique and ad­mirable cul­tural prac­tices and tra­di­tions. And so, the na­tion boasts of an avalanche of glo­ri­ous life­styles, mak­ing them cyno­sures for tourists, who throng en masse to wit­ness the marvelous cul­tural dis­plays.

To cel­e­brate this cul­tural her­itage and com­mem­o­rate the 58th in­de­pen­dence an­niver­sary of Nige­ria, the Fe­male Artists As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­ria (FEAAN) held a one-week show, where in­vited artists ex­hib­ited their works to the ad­mi­ra­tion of au­di­ence. The show also held in South Africa.

Tagged, Art-mo­sphere: Cel­e­brat­ing Nige­rian Cul­tural Her­itage, the show aimed at mak­ing ex­hibitors work on unique cul­tural prac­tices of the dif­fer­ent eth­nic groups in Nige­ria.

From cos­tumes to cuisines of each eth­nic group, the artists dis­played won­der­ful works that gave the au­di­ence ex­ten­sive knowl­edge about them.

It had in at­ten­dance 15 artists, who dis­played three works each in dif­fer­ent me­dia like, paint­ing, print, ce­ram­ics, tex­tiles and pho­tog­ra­phy.

Ad­dress­ing guests, Mrs. Chinze Ojobo, Pres­i­dent FAAN, en­joined Nige­rian women to be agents of change in so­ci­ety by mak­ing judi- cious use of the cul­tural her­itage to pos­i­tively im­pact in the present and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

“As women, we serve as am­bas­sadors of peace and friend­ship, along­side pro­mot­ing our cul­ture and her­itage. We are touched on the var­i­ous is­sues and hap­pen­ings in Nige­ria in­clud­ing our cur­rent chal­lenges. But we have one thing in com­mon; we are women whose per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences and artis­tic styles have been shaped by our her­itage. We in turn will use what we are to­day to shape and style our coun­try and change the nar­ra­tive of our beloved coun­try. The glass ceil­ing is bro­ken. Like a bird, we are free to fly and ex­press our­selves. The sky is our be­gin­ning,” she said.

Miss. Ay­oola Omovo, South-west Co-or­di­na­tor of FAAN and or­ga­nizer of the event, in her speech, ex­pressed con­vic­tion that the show was a per­fect plat­form to ad­dress top­i­cal is­sues in Nige­ria.

“Each work here pic­tures var­i­ous is­sues we can re­late with, whether cul­tural, so­cial, re­li­gious or po­lit­i­cal as­pects. The is­sues pre­sented here tell ad­e­quate sto­ries about the ills of the na­tion, the won­der­ful as­pects of it and the places that need some form of over­haul­ing.”

Omovo, who did two mixed me­dia works ti­tled Be­hind the mask and Save the chil­dren, also urged the vis­i­tors to the show and ev­ery Nige­rian to ac­quire art ex­hibits as it would en­cour­age the artists, at- tract tourists, boost the econ­omy and most im­por­tantly be a driv­ing force for change of anom­alies in Nige­ria.

“Ev­ery Nige­rian should have an art work, be­cause hav­ing it serves as a form of en­cour­age­ment to the artists to do more, en­tice in­ter­na­tional art lovers to Nige­ria, thereby im­prov­ing our econ­omy and most per­ti­nently, to make us al­ways aware about the need for change, when­ever we take a glimpse at the pic­tures hung on our walls.”

One of the dis­played works was Ade­bayo Es­ther’s Palmwine Tap­per, a mixed me­dia show­piece that de­picted the im­por­tance of time in the hu­man so­ci­ety. An­other was Clara Aden’s Young Bride por­tray­ing the tra­di­tional cos­tume of a newly wed­ded Yoruba lady. Eve­lyn Osagie also dis­played her works on pho­tog­ra­phy, one that she ti­tled, Wa­ter boy.

Oth­ers were Greener pasture batik by Rita Doris Edum­chieke, Stella Mo­fu­nanya’s Cel­e­bra­tion cut print Haf­sat Zayyanu’s Fura da nono III, Aisha Idrisu’s Wind, Esuru Ichoku’s Queen Idia, Young dream strings by Onyinye Afam, Glaze vase by Pa­tience Euba, J.A. Nwaje’s Pro­tec­tion, and O.C. Oluchi’s Grace paint­ing

Some mem­bers of FEAAN at the show

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