I’m back in London about to enjoy the annual Jazz Festival and a number of art exhibitions opening over the next few weeks. I recently attended Tiwani Contemporary’s exhibition Mirrors & Echoes. This was my first visit to the gallery since it’s opening and I was pleased to see this collaboration by the talented artists Mary Evans and Emeka Ogboh.
Dialogue between Evans and Ogboh started from a radio broadcast during Art Dubai 2013, in which Lagos based Ogboh and Evans discussed the changing landscape of the Nigerian megacity. Evans left the city as a child but recalls her childhood and Ogboh’s current observations of his hometown form an interesting portrait of an ever-changing city, crossing space and time.
Mirrors & Echoes starts where the radio conversation ended, and further investigates notions of memory in relation to place, taking as its particular focus the interface between sound and image. Comprising paper cut-outs, video, sound and sculptural elements, this multi-faceted collaborative work creates an imaginary space based on the artists’ recollections and current experiences of Lagos. The show runs until December 20th 2014. For further information on the show and gallery please visit the Tiwani Contemporary website.
‘Art for the people, by the people’ is an unique exhibition that celebrates the ability for anyone with a modern smartphone or tablet to create memorable instant art or ‘insta–art’ as it’s fashionably called . The photographic exhibition allows the visitor to ask what constitutes a professional photographer and what defines good photography? Fifty images of Queensland, Australia have been selected for this exhibition. The images were taken from a variety of instagrammers, many of whom participated in the world’s largest ever ‘instameet’ – a pre determined place and time where photographers/instagrammers collectively take photos.
The event took place in 88 locations across Queensland earlier this month with over a thousand people capturing images of Queensland. Visitors of the gallery are given the opportunity to vote on their favourite three pieces of art. All votes will be placed into a draw on the final day of the show and ten lucky winners will receive a framed print. Moreover, someone will also get the opportunity to win a flight to Queensland for a holiday. The best of the images produced during the meet are now being exhibited in London, at a pop-up ‘Insta gallery’at Arts Galleries Europe, 18 Maddox St, London, W1S 1PL, until Friday 24th October. If you’d like to see more of the images produced at the Queenland insta-meet, search Instagram using the handle @queensland and hashtag #thisisqueensland
I’m glad once again to be participating in the Peace Projects 2014 traveling exhibition. My image entitled ‘Peace Right Now’ will feature in a mosaic alongside the work of artists around the world. Confirmed exhibition dates and venues are
September 20 & 21 — Affair of the Arts, Culver City, CA
October 16 — Landmark Arts Building, Chelsea, NY
November 23 — The Whole 9 Gallery, Culver City, CA
The Peace Project is an international social movement powered by the belief that through creativity and community we can change the world – problems that were previously thought almost insurmountable can be solved and sustainable peace can be created in communities and countries around the world.
I continue to find inspiration from many contemporaries, particularly artists who continue to create colourful, diverse and varied styles of work. One of these is Parisian Véronique Lunkutu, aka Africa Vee.
How long have you been painting and what inspires you?
I took a serious interest in art at the age of twenty-five. I have never attended any formal painting classes so my technique is my own and my talent is evolving through trial and error. Some would say that you acquire perfection with the technique. I would say that art is not a pursuit of perfection; it is a question of feeling. My paintings are not perfect, but what is perfection in the end? It is imperfect as we are imperfect. Many artists are naturally gifted. This natural gift, this free spirit attitude, is reflected in my work because it is not governed by constraints. It is not “boxed in” by parameters.
I have dual heritage, my mother is from Belgium and my father is from the Democratic Republic of Congo. When I first decided to pursue painting, I never asked myself where it would lead me. However, my feelings and inspiration led me naturally to my Afro-European roots and is in recognition of the African diaspora.
Many of my paintings depict African Women in traditional garb and styles of hair. These paintings depict a female perspective in the world today, especially the perspective of how African women are viewed and perceived as regards their cultural ethnicity and beauty. In some ways, it represents my perspective and my vision as an Afro-European woman.
What is your preferred medium and why?
I paint on canvas. I utilize acrylics because I find that it permits me to really bring out the color palette. The colours are more vibrant, intense and deep.
You have a distinctive and admirable style. Can you explain the process you adopt for producing your work?
I mostly paint indoors during the day, alone in a peaceful environment with music, always music! I love music so I always paint with music in the background. Some would think that music would be a distraction but for me it produces an environment that is conducive to painting. Instead of being interference, the music puts my mind in a state of being and allows me to concentrate in a relaxed environment during the painting process. My musical influences are a mixture of African and European artists, plus black music in general. I guess it represents my bi-racial heritage.
I usually make sketches before I paint and I decide the color choices at that moment. However, painting is also spontaneous. So often, I go with the flow and allow my feelings to pick the color choices. So some color choices are predetermined and some are spontaneous.
How do you manage the commercial/income generating aspects of being an artist?
I currently paint for the pure joy of painting. However, I am not opposed to commercial recognition of my work, or income generation as an expression of the buyers’ appreciation of my work. To be an artist as my full time occupation would be a dream come true.
So what projects are you currently working on? What career aspirations do you have for the immediate future?
My current project and career aspirations at this time are tied together. I would like to have the opportunity to display my work in an exhibit. Not initially one that would produce income, but an exhibit in which my work could simply be shared with others
I recently created and designed my webpage http://Africaveearts.com as a means to share my art with others. I also maintain a presence on the various social media outlets. I have a Facebook page as well as postings on Twitter, Instagram, and I am a member of Blackartinamerica.
Art is about freedom and creative expression. Being an artist is first and foremost about feeling free to create. It is about expressing what is inside you, expressing something that potentially others have not expressed before or have expressed in a different way. It is about expressing what you want and maybe even need to express. I feel free to express myself by painting. Some people will catch a part of my emotions and life’s struggles in my work, others will not. It is all is question of perception, but the most important thing is that painting is a way to deliver peace and love. And that is what I want to do. I’m grateful to have the chance to share my work and my emotions with others through my art.
Hi guys and girls! I hope all is well and you’re enjoying your weekend. I’ve just been updating my blogsite and introduced a gallery page to share some of my recent work. I’m always grateful to get your comments and feedback. I think I’ll be spending more time in the studio now that the weather is getting cooler and the nights start earlier. Unfortunately it seems the summer is ending! Wishing you all a great week ahead. May it bring you continued happiness, good health and prosperity!
I’ve been doing a few sketches and pencil drawings of late. Witnessing continuous media headlines of war, fighting ,death, shootings of unarmed civilians by police and most recently the beheading of an American journalist, I could only express my thoughts on paper. The attached image I’ve chosen to share is entitled “Peace Right Now!”
It is estimated that over 160 million people have died in wars from the 20th and early 21st Centuries alone. Enough is enough! The image represents a truce; a coming together of both sides of each war, fought in the name of religion, race, ethnicity and political perspectives. The handshake is the action to signify this change, the bleeding heart represents the heartbreak felt by millions of loved ones, family and innocent people caught in the crossfire of war. The love heart represents the healing and on wall behind are listings of the many life changing wars fought all over the world.
RIP Robin Williams. My condolences to his family. Alongside the late Richard Pryor, he was one of the funniest and gifted comedians I grew up with and a very talented actor. A sad and reflective week. A significant one because it makes me think about people I’ve known and the amount of time we give to others to find out what’s going on in their lives. Too often we’re in our shells, oblivious to others. Most of us focus on our lives trying our best to exist or, worst still, focus on impressing the wrong people, particularly in the virtual world of Facebook etc instead of creating a real life with real relationships. I think William’s passing illustrates the fact that success and material wealth cannot itself guarantee happiness or replace that constant need for sincere selfless human support and communication. Suicide is a permanent solution for what may be temporary or avoidable situations as he alluded to in one of his films. There are thousands like him in dire need of support without his fame, popularity or fortune. Perhaps his passing will be the catalyst for making society further aware of the severity of depression, the stigma of mental health issues in general and need for us all to be vigilant with those we know. Statistically, around one in three people suffer mental health and depression. Look after yourselves.. and each other!