Sunday, 24 January 2010

Flower on canvas

THE missing link between art and flowers in the floral kingdom, resurfaced when a Lagos-based flower shop, Flowertalk, opened its door to artists recently.
The proprietress, Alero Okotie-Eboh Jadesinmi, recalls that when she was to start Flowertalk, people did not give it a chance. But her experience with the flower business has proved that “art shows in a flower shop could work as well. I was convinced from day one; flower is art anyway.”
Her involvement in art, she explains, was spurred by her NGO, Youth Business Initiative (YBI), aimed at empowering young professionals to excel in their careers.
So far, this new outlet has exhibited works of Tuodeinye Ogaga; and whose coordination others such as Kamorudeen Akerele, Joe Nsek, Ade Odunfa and Dotun Alabi had group outings at different times. What is now regarded as a yearly event started with the solo show of Ogaga.
At the last show titled Insignia, Ogaga says the initiative was aimed at using the flower venue to lure more art enthusiasts. “It’s working. Paintings here for exhibition brings a new taste to regular visitors of the flower shop,” he declares.
The combined radiation of flower and painting, the artist enthuses, is bringing a new passion for lovers of flowers.
A barren tree against the scorching sun is Ogaga’s interpretation of procreation in the work, Towards the Sun, as he likens the concept to “a man who looks forward to a woman for procreation”. He continues his thoughts on relationship in Transparent Affection; a series of figural works, focusing on intimacy. Another work, Graceful Peacock, a blend of painting and flower, depicts colourful bird in its action.
Ogaga’s abstraction leads him to, perhaps, contribution to the Copenhagen, Denmark global summit on climate change, tagged Universal Energy.

FROM Odunfa and Alabi come different tastes of the palette knife tool. Fresh from his solo outing, Phases and Faces, the solo show which featured his works from 1999 till date, combined youth and intellect. Such was the collage multi-dimensional painterly look, yet on a single surface in Thoughts, as drawing splits into a mirror-like depiction. Still stressing his new form, Odunfa brings into this group show, some poetic textures. But despite his growing skill with the knife, he seems to be leaning too heavily on the nude side of art. Three out of every five recent work of his, explore the female anatomy.
Alabi drips his palette in most of the works, resulting in a form that brings in new texture to his work. For example, Night Life at a Bar shows an increasing lighting, which takes off from the semi-silhouette foreground through a bright centre and a spotlight background.
Two editions back, 20 works of Ogaga, Akerele and Nsek were on display in the exhibition, Values and Colours.

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