Update: Seven female artists painting the world through their lenses
When a great female art lover, art promoter, art collector and luxury goods merchant, turns 70, it is not a bad idea to gather young female artists to produce works of art that view the world through female lenses and then make an exhibition of those artworks. That was what inspired the art exhibition titled “Through My Lens” billed for September 24 to October 30, 2022 at The Content Art Gallery, within the Adam&Eve complex, Isaac John Street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos.
“This year, I am turning 70, and I told Lekan (Onabanjo, artist and the curator) that I think we should have female artists to showcase women. In the first event we organised, we didn’t have females – young females that are enthusiastic – because you have to know that they will stay the course. If they are going to drop off, then their art will hardly worth anything,” Mrs. Modupe Ogunlesi, proprietor of The Content Art Gallery and Adam&Eve, said.
Mrs. Ogunlesi said the artworks produced by these female painters will be unveiled on her actual birthday (September 24) under private viewing. The artists whose works for the exhibition have been shortlisted for the event include Taiye Erewele, Naomi Oyeniyi, Funmi Arabambi, Ogochukwu Ejiofor, Faith Michael, Nelly Idagba and Bunmi Oyesanya.
Five of the chosen female artists spoke with Vanguard:
“I am an accidental artist. I didn’t choose art. Art chose me,” Faith said. She went to the University of Benin to study Library & Information Science but she was mistakenly offered Fine Art. With a painting she titled “Ijeuwa” (life’s journey), she tells the story of her life as a woman.
“I explore mostly female figures. I enjoy working with bright and contrasting colors,” Funmi said. She will be bringing 7 works to the exhibition – Monologue, Black, Lost, In Anticipation, etc. She said she uses ‘Monologue’ (a portrait of a woman with a bare back backing the world) “to explore that aspect of life where you need to be alone and think about the way forward in life.”
I am a story teller and a poet. For this exhibition I decided to tell a story about somethings that ladies pass through but lack the courage to talk about.” Ogochukwu said she is exhibiting works in form of a diary that deals with how things affect women, especially the girlchild, and how they deal with those things. She is exhibiting 5 works in Girlchild series (titled Alone, The Thought, Heal Yourself, After the Healing and Face your Fears), all of which centre around the theme, rape.
“Someone said that the cheapest commodity on earth are opinions,” Taiye said. What fascinates Taiye most are the different things going on in different persons’ heads (opinions). So, in her works she tries to capture these different thoughts going in different minds – “the essence of their personalities.” One of her works is titled ‘A flower in the field’.
“I am exhibiting 7 art pieces – All hands on deck, Conglomerate, True Friendship and then a series of 4 titled ‘Beyond the eyes’ which focuses on speaking through the eyes – the real eyes and the third eyes.”
Lekan Onabanjo, Curator
“The artists whose works are featuring in ‘Through My Lens’ have been selected carefully to reflect the dynamism of female creative professions in Nigeria. The theme of the exhibition provided the artists opportunity to share individual’s views on women perspective of life, in general, but using the medium of visual arts.
“As the art appreciation space within Ikeja and mainland in general expands, The Content Art Gallery will increase our exhibitions from once a year to twice or more. We should recall how The Content started as just a theme for regular exhibition at Adam&Eve when the art for exhibitions were displayed among the luxury items. But now, those exhibitions have generated enough interests to merit a gallery space to expand the growing art appreciation of the people within Ikeja and beyond,” Lekan said.