If you are yet to see the ongoing exhibition, ‘Standing Out’ curated by Sandra Mbanefo Obiago, at Temple Muse, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria, then you are missing a great deal.
The exhibition which opened in May is a collection of works by prominent and upcoming female artists, some of the best in the country. The exhibition showcases different works of eleven emerging and leading female artists. It is a reflection of the myriads of issues relating to inequality among other issues affecting women in a patriarchal society.
The beautiful pieces that line up the white wall of Temple Muse as you walk into the store show some of the most captivating and sexual images ever. They are rendered through an assortment of media including painting, photography, print, sculpture, ceramic, mixed media, jewellery and performance art.
Looking through all the works, you will see the vigour, flexibility, reminiscences and individualities of all these women in a rich graphic display. It depicts how they are using their works to break the glass ceilings and boundaries that tend to silence their voices.
The artists who are making statements with their works at the exhibition are: Tyna Adebowale, Ranti Bamgbala, TY Bello, Carey Godwin, Taiye Idahor, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Zemaye Okediji, Obiageli Okigbo, Nnenna Okore, Nike Davies-Okundaye, and Karin Troy.
One of the interesting pieces worth seeing is Obiageli Okigbo’s powerful ‘Female Heroes’ portraits. These portraits pay homage to the iconic deeds of women of African descent. Some of the portraits documents the images of historic figures like Tiye, the great royal wife and matriarch of the Egyptian Amara Dynasty, Sarraounia, the warrior queen of Azna, and Amina Mohamud, the Hausa warrior queen of Zaria, to contemporary figures like the Kenyan Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai, including South African singer. It seeks to celebrates the heroic deeds of African women across the world.
You can’t also ignore the works of foremost artist, Nike Davies-Okundaye. She brings to fore her commitment to female empowerment in Adire textile in most of her works. Her pieces highlight the traditional Adire symbols that reinforces universal values including unity, community work, strength and love.
The use of hair as a visual metaphor can be seen in Taiye Idahor’s Imadode works, meaning literally, “I did not miss my way”. Her delicate paper collage works are her visual language of identity and the cyclical nature of life, as she explores public versus private image, reality versus virtual images of self, and “the boundaries between them in relation to culture, faith and tradition.”
Zemaye Okediji underwater photographs will surely expand your understanding of what it means to be a woman through her well taken dreamy imagery representing opportunities and barriers within natural and imagined intellectual landscapes.
Mbanefo Obiago, the curator explains that: “Standing Out is an important testament to the strength, spiritual depth, wisdom courage, and also humour, of women artists whose independence and creativity is deeply influenced by Africa,” “The way these diverse artworks cut across generations, geography, and experience” provides an important contemporary perspective on traditional feminist thought, at a time that the global fight for equality and an end to gender based discrimination and violence is still critical.”
Also, Ebun Clark, retired Professor of English & Former Director of the Centre for Cultural Studies at University of Lagos says: “I went to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. Alas, not much has changed for women since then. That is why this exhibition showcasing eleven female artist of diverse specialization is so hugely important for the art world,”
Avi Wadhwani, CEO of Temple Muse says Temple Muse is proud to exhibit the works of female artists who are making remarkable statements with their works. “Female artists on the continent are an incredible creative force to be reckoned with,” he says, “which regularly showcases leading women artists in fashion, design and art. “We are proud to showcase these amazing artworks for the next three months and trust that the strong messages presented in Standing Out will resonate widely.”
Why not take time out to see ‘Standing Out’ this weekend?
Standing Out is sponsored by UBS, the Swiss international bank, and luxury house Moet Hennessey. The exhibition runs until August 15, 2016
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