Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Adventures into Internal Minds

THREE artists — Ruth Bircham-Shoyemi, Tayo Shoyemi and Ayoola Odupitan —whose drawings have found a home in Kreative Minds, will be showing at Fairfield Halls Theatre, Park Lane, Croydon, United Kingdom from September 6 to 9.
Under the Theme, Exploitation of the Internal Minds-2, it is the second show by the group, which had its debut in February at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos, when Bircham-Shoyemi visited Nigeria. In their first show, the artists, in their diverse thoughts, engaged the canvas to explain effects of social changes on the society. The UK show tries to bridge the gap between cultures and countries; most importantly, to show how this development has affected individuals. Affection between mother and child — during the nursing period — is captured by Tayo Shoyemi in his piece. While explaining the virtues of breast-feeding, the work reveals one of the feeding techniques by women in the work. Odupitan, who has remained consistent in her print-like monochrome, offers a balance in cultural study. Two contrasting images of hairdo: a dreadlock and an island-clean-shaven head, express her thoughts on cultural diversity. Bircham-Shoyemi keeps her viewer thrilled in her depictions of nature and its beautiful sceneries, which appear to be her strength. Her multi racial environment oozes in Rising Above, acrylic on canvas, with much emphasis on the thick lip. This, she explains, is deliberate “to show viewers that our culture is no less superior to that of any other race. My future plans are to continue to exhibit and take Exploitation of the Internal Mind to the international stage and back to Nigeria, where the idea originated. I want to educate people around the world about Nigerian history and culture.” FOR Odupitan, the formation of the group is based on the need to educate the youth. It is believed that many young ones are suffering in silence because they feel that the only way to be heard is by committing crime or taking part in anti-social behaviours. Solution, Bircham-Shoyemi stresses, is not by ignoring it, but confronting the situation head on, using the past as a stepping stone to move forward. “We want individuals to be aware of each other’s experience, and how each of them feels history has affected them living in today’s society”, she argues. Bircham-Shoyemi, who studied Access to Art and Design at Croydon College, said her experimentation of bringing the outside environment into art began thereafter. Renaissance, Impressionism, Abstract Realism and Corporeality are the schools of art that have influenced her works. In 2001, she got BA (Hon) in Fine Art Combined Media, which she said strengthened her. She also had a stint in printing, film editing, using various computer softwares, and business studies. Her work was shown at the Parfait Gallery at Croydon College in 2001 and 2002, and also was involved in a group show in 2005. Odupitan graduated with Bachelor of Art (Education) from University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State in 2006. Majoring in painting, She has a number of art shows including Art Expo Nigeria and Society of Nigerian Artists, (SNA) organised October Rain to her credit. Tayo, in addition to his Diploma in Textile Art and Design, has participated in several exhibitions, including Art Expo Nigeria. He is also a member of the new art group, Art Zero.

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