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Framed Images of Time and Memories: An artist’s ‘personal journal’

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An exhibition of drawings, watercolours and mixed media by the award winning painter, scholar, critic Prof. Jerry Buhari, who is presently a senior lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, opens on Tuesday December 12, at the Thought Pyramid Arts Centre, Abuja.

Titled Framed Images of Time and Memories is the artist’s attempt to capture the difficult periods of the 90s, which he notes, are in a sense “a personal journal”.

According to him, up to early 90s artists in Nigeria still had the luxury of using conventional materials that were available and affordable. “But the signs of progressive economic mismanagement had begun to show very clearly with a breakdown of public utilities, increasing corruption permeating across the country, and long fuel queues to give it a visual ugliness, notes Buhari.

“This exhibition is my artistic journey through time, constructed with framed memories. The collection of works done between 2016 and 2017 are mixed media works that cynically presents the daughters, concubines and mistresses of the rich and political elite that populate our current political landscape as future dynasties. They are represented in Princess and Princes in a satirical world.

 

Rather than celebrate the hardship of living under unstable governance, I deliberately chose to take on different personal life experiences and of others like me that celebrate the phantasmagoria. In doing so I seek to show defiance to the mercenary type of leadership we are all hostage to. Perhaps worst of this is the obscene display of wealth by politicians and public civil servants in the way we party, marry, bury the dead and find every conceivable excuse to display wealth amidst abject poverty that can be felt and touched,” he said.

The erudite scholar said that in his watercolours starting from the year 2000, he is almost completely in a cocoon to the happenings around him. “Here I create framed worlds of about two square centimeters that take me through a journey into frames of landscapes in a grid compositional format extracted from memories. The size of each landscape was deliberately created to make it a personal closed space – too small for the flamboyant politician to enter into, yet sufficient for me to manage. The dominant green references the purity of this landscape devoid of consumerist products that generate waste and pollution.

The fluidity and organic colours become a wilderness where one can be lost and not easily found by hired assassins, kidnappers or political witch hunters.”

According to him, the drawing portfolio becomes relevant to him as a lecturer who has to offer instructions in life drawing classes in an art school without proper life models.

“The linear and minimalist nature of the drawings suggests time management and the desire to focus only on the essential and maximally create works in the precious time available.

“When you look at the works of the 90s, I wish that they were seen as representing alternative survival strategies that can be created away from oppressive governments. These works seek to direct us to the ability to create alternative means of survival independent of government to such an extent that it becomes irrelevant and powerless to harm, to divide and to manipulate us. In Nigeria there are two classes of people who are hardly positively impacted by government: the rural Nigerian and the poor in the cities. These category live in the same world with us but different from the politicians’ and the co-conspirators.

“On the whole and in summary, two things may appear apparent in the works presented in this solo show in Abuja – landscapes and landscapes; landscapes of the soul and landscape from the soul. Each miniature landscape reconstructs an experience, a memory and is presented using organic and microscopic perspectives. The visual strategy seeks to conceal messages only discernable by the patient and the contemplative.”

He added that this exhibition is his attempt to capture the difficult periods of the 90s.

“They are in a sense a personal journal. It is my hope that some people may find alliance with this personal experience. In the selected works of this show, I am hoping to capture framed times, moments, memories and images that define my experience and response to Nigeria in transition.”

The exhibition runs till Wednesday December 20, 2017. Works that will be on display include: Women of hijab (Mixed media on watercolour paper), Face of a friend (Mixed media), and Weep not country (Mixed media).

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Arts & Entertainments

Footprints of David Art Academy inaugurates cottage theatre

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The official opening of a Seaside Cottage Theatre, an educational and arts intervention for lessprivileged children living in the coastal area of Bariga, Lagos, by the Footprints of David Art Academy, was no doubt a significant effort at repositioning live theatre in Lagos State. It also brought to the fore, the array of talents that abound in Bariga, in various areas of the performing art.

It was indeed, a bold attempt at promoting not only children theatre but also at stimulating interest in art as well as repositioning Bariga, as a major art community in Lagos. Lauding the initiative, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, who attended the inauguration of the ‘Seaside Cottage Theatre alongside his wife, said: “It’s not what government can do for theatre, it’s to realise what theatre does for its own existence.”

He described the efforts of the founder of Footprints of David Art Academy, Seun Awobajo, as a “brave, courageous and committed attempt to do something for the community through theatre.” Also in attendance at the event, which was moderated by the Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), Lagos State chapter, Mr. Makinde Adeniran, include accomplished artiste and poet, Mrs. Francesca Emanuel, chairman of Bariga Local Council Development Au-thority (LCDA), Hon. Kolade Alabi, as well as traditional chiefs in Bariga. Also speaking, Emmanuel, urged the audience to support the Footprints of David.

She said: “I felt that I had to support whatever Seun is doing. And the children themselves have really won my heart and I find that I come here, I stay with them, and we talk. When they’re rehearsing, I come, I rehearse with them and I’m glad that these children are progressing day by day. “For years, I’ve been coming to their annual festival where the children would perform (for) a whole week covering so many programmes involving all the children in Bariga.”

On his part, Alabi, in his address, talked about regenerating Bariga, saying Awobajo would be involved in it. “Without me hunting for that talent, Seun came and he is one of the talents that we’re going to make use of,” he said.

Alabi promised to fund salaries for teachers who teach at the centre. Earlier, Awobajo, a writer, theatre director and music composer called for support for the project, noting that aside being a school during the week, the Cottage Theatre doubles as training grounds for the arts on weekends.

He disclosed that the school was started on December 30, 2005 with 14 teachers. However, due to inability to pay the teachers regularly, only three of the teachers remained.

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Arts & Entertainments

Marriage will soon become unfashionable—-Charlyboy

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Charly Boy

Maverick showbiz maestro and activist,Charles Oputa,aka Charlyboy, says marriage union will soon become unfashionable alleging that most men were not prepared for commitment and responsibilities.

The ‘Areafada’, as he is popularly called by fans, stated this on Friday on his Instagram handle: areafada1, while reacting to the social media frenzy on Celebrity blogger, Linda Ikeji’s pregnancy.

He wrote: “Marriage very soon will no longer be fashionable, because most people can’t cope.

“Most young men are just looking for someone to pay their bills,as most good men are already taken.

“A woman desire a very strong man who can take charge and take care.

“Linda has been burnt so many times by useless wayo men parading themselves as prospective husbands.”

Charlyboy had earlier hailed the 37 year old famous spinster, saying she did well for deciding to carry a child even without marriage, as “marriage was not for everyone.”

His position however, attracted mixed reactions with a lot of his followers saying that he was encouraging single motherhood in contrast to his daughters who are married.

Charlyboy, in the post, explained that he supports marriage as he has remained married for almost four decades.

He however noted that being a single mother was better than an abusive marriage.

“I have managed to survive almost 40 years with the same woman, and it is not a tea cup.

“Marriage can only work for two people who understand that it requires a lot of discipline and hard work.

“One of my daughters has been a single mother after leaving a very abusive marriage, and she is the best Mum I know, and doing well for herself.

“It takes two to tango, so people should leave Linda alone and face their lives,” he added

(NAN)

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Arts & Entertainments

Unusual Empire: #BBNaija’s Alex launches YouTube Channel

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Alex Asogwa, 3rd Runner-up BBNaija `Double Wahala’’ known for her dancing and writing skills, has launched her YouTube channel “Alex Unusual Empire.’’

Alex, 22, who is determined to keep her fans entertained, has also released a teaser on the channel.

In the video, the ex-housemate and Television personality preaches positivity., saying: “Peace and positivity is my priority”

“It is okay to be different… The sun is alone and it still shines. I stand for what I beleive. Life is a journey and I choose not to rush mine.”

“Everyone is special. The world has a lot of people but there is something unique about every single person.

“I accept Alexandra Asogwa especially because she is unusual. There can never be another me.”

`I’m building a house where the floor is made of strength, the walls crafted of ambition, the roof, a masterpiece of forgiveness.

“I am building Alex Unusual Empire.” (NAN)

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