Art Twenty One and The Osh Gallery have exhibitions currently running, both of which opened on Saturday, June 27. The one at Art Twenty One is a group showcase that features artists who work in different mediums titled ‘Elsewhere’, while The Osh Gallery one is photography-installation by Ayo Akinwande titled ‘Boju Boju’.
‘Elsewhere’ explores contemporary notions of fantasy in an interconnected global environment, said a statement from Art Twenty One.
Working across artistic mediums, including painting, photography, sculpture and collage, the artists in this exhibition define alternative ways of depicting otherness, not rooted in spatial boundaries but by instability, fluidity and cross-cultural assimilation. The statement further explained.
The works on display at the Eko Hotels and Suites-located Art Twenty One are from artists like Joseph Eze, Demola Ogunajo, Abraham Oghobase and a host of others. What is more, Namsa Leuba, Paa Joe and Jacob Tetteh-Ashong, who also have works in the exhibition, are part of the gallery’s Artist-in-Residence Programme during the show, where they are expected to produce a new body of work and engage with the local art community in Lagos.
Visitors will see that ‘Elsewhere’ succeeds in exploring the relationship between history, memory and the creation of new imaginaries, ranging from material manifestations of the afterlife to fake artefacts, cultural reconfigurations and performative interventions.
‘Elsewhere’ will hold a panel discussion at 3pm on July 11, exploring the thematic threads of the exhibition where artists engage notions of fantasy, myth-making and otherness. The discussion will feature the artists Namsa Leuba, Joseph Eze, Demola Ogunajo and Abraham Oghobase.
‘Boju Boju’ at The Osh Gallery located on Herbert Macaulay Way, Yaba, Lagos, explores the concepts of perception, duality and the multifaceted layers of the human reality.
Taking its roots from Oro festival of the Yoruba traditional culture, the Boju Boju game is an adaptation of ‘Hide and Seek’. Ayo Akinwande cleverly winds these overlapping themes into a maze, highlighting the focal points of a social spectrum and addressing salient phenomena and maladies which seem to have attained the status of normalcy, said the gallery in a statement.
In his attempt to wade through an ideological trajectory, the photographer poses questions that situate the viewer in the same scape.
Akinwande makes use of a wide array of props, chief of which are selected West African masks that engage the viewer in the game, stretching the entire exhibition on a 100-metre canvas.
The photographer, whose initial works are hinged on the performative, exploits the same process as he employs a number of nude models to illustrate his narrative.
An architect by training, Akinwande graduated from Covenant University. In his journey to creative freedom, he found expression in the art of photography and has since sought to expound his expressive and thematic scope. His work focuses on the performative possibilities of everyday life; drawing his props from the same palette. He strives to recreate surreal experiences which he believes, through keen observation, can be traced in memory and reality. He addresses social issues with the use of satire – while holding a light to interpersonal relationships.