Whatever Badejo Abiodun, Adeleke Akeem, Owolabi Ayodele And Babatunde Bolaji hoped to achieve with Connectivity Of Vision may not exactly get the right attention now. The idea of what the artists described as individual solo exhibitions under one collectivity appeared like a futuristic concept that more artists and galleries might embrace in the years to come.
In a developing economy such as Nigeria’s where less privileged artists are incresingly struggling to have a debut solo art exhibition, a space that allows two or more artists have pool of resource for solo within a group show is indeed worth taking a look at. For the artists of Connectivity Of Vision, there came the support of Nike Art Gallery, Lekki, Lagos, which gave the group free exhibition space.
“Connectivity Of Vision is four solo exhibitions holding at the same,” Abiodun declared. Indeed, the excitement on the faces of Abiodun and his co-exhibited artists represents a moment of joy that quite an army of artists in Lagos always chase for many years of post-school art practice.
Typical Lagos art themes of urban steetscape, market environment, busy bus stations, portraits of city people, among other influence of the artists’ immediate environment dominated the walls of Connectivity… at Nike Gallery.
Quite of interest, some of the paintings challenge critics of repetitive themes who never hid their repudiation of artists that constantly depict everyday Lagos scenes. But in Abiodun’s painting on canvas titled Sunday Morning, the artist goes beyond the usual market scene by telling a story of how specific day looks like on the busy streets of Lagos. A busy Lagos commercial street suddenly dried of human activities is not exactly a common site, as Abiodun’s pallete renders a scene embossed by great depth that dissolves into the distance.
In contrast, an aerial vew painting Commercial Centre by Bolaji celebrates the colorful market environment where sea of humans compete for space. Adding to the vibrancy of the artist’s application of colours is his depiction of rustic rooftops
Not exactly over focused by artists, so suggests Makoko Settings, a long shot view of the controversial Lagos houses on stilts at riverine part of Ebute Meta, Yaba. And quite a perfect mood for the setting in the low lighting tone, stressing the isolated, perhaps, neglected inhabitants.
Glittering city night scene, with street lights that are competiting with head lights of vehicular movement require quite a degree of mastery to look convincing. For Akeem, his painting titled In the City gets its strength more in reflection-effects and distincct separation of colours that represents the beauty of colourful night city scene.
Despite the absence of sculptures in the gathering, the relatively richness of the artworks on display, perhaps, shielded the exhibition from falling into uni-directional show.
For the Nike Gallery space, the last one year “has been very tough with drop in art patronage,” lamented artist and gallery owner Mrs Nike Okundaye. Next year, the way to go, if young artists’ hope must be sustained is to engage art collectors in other benefits of art. “We are planing to create art investment education! So that people know they can make money from art collecting,” explains Chief Rueben Okundaye. Isn’t art, as an investment, taken for granted?” Most art collectors in Nigeria, Okundaye argued, “just collect for pleasure.