‘You have to understand the new, so as to challenge the new’; a phrase which has guided and guarded a lot of creatives. Rele, an art gallery hosted ‘The Atlantic Triangle’ a sponsored exhibition by the Goethe Institut. Founded in 2015 by Adenrele Sonariwo, an accountant and art enthusiast, Rele has paved the way for Art appreciation in Nigeria and bolstered contemporary creatives also.
The Triangle debuted on the 1st of April and is displayed until the 23rd of April. The carefully curated exhibition celebrates residual knowledge and the slave trade phases throughout Africa. It is a strong reminder of the hardship and challenges faced by Sub-Saharan slaves. In the 15th century,
In the 15th century, slave ships departed Britain to West Africa. The ships stuffed with toxic goods – goods which dehumanised us as Africans, and depopulated our nation. Mirrors, Irons, Chalk, Bullets, Sugar, favoriteSalt, Gin; and other consumables marked our value. These goods would be traded for men, women and children alike. Strong and beautiful people who had been captured by western slave traders. This Exhibition reminds us where we are coming from, and why we should not put to exile the aforementioned dealings, but keep expressing them in whatever form and media
Our first favourite is Ndidi Dike‘s Exchange for Life. Ndidi, a bare visual artist. She’s a sculptor and mixed media artist. Ndidi’s installations are arresting and undiluted – they portray it as it is. Ndidi is grossly influenced by urbanisation, slavery and democratic injustice. Exchange for Life featured artefacts. Artefacts from the 15th and 16th century. Broken mirrors, gongs, guns, cowries, chains and more chains. Her exhibition quickly injected in one’s mind the hardship our forefathers faced and the almost 25 million people whose lives were cut short owing to the Europeans.
The second exhibition that caught our eye is that of Karo Akpokiere. Karo is a true creative. The graduate of Yaba College of Technology uses digital and traditional aspects of graphics design, pattern design and illustration portraying pure lines and bold colours. Although showcased at the 56th Venice Art Biennale in 2015, his exhibition featured 50 framed drawings of social commentary. Witty lines, sketches and skewed lines all evoking meaning. They exhumed struggle for the fulfilment of the Europeans; begging Africa (a country) to teach her, and the portraits focusing on the societal class differences.
The third is an exhibition by George Osodi, a Delta-born, but Lagos-based Photographer. His exhibition featured 21 black frames of crisp images with compelling angles of Eko Atlantic City. A planned megacity of Lagos state, located in the heart of Victoria Island. The images on display were taken over a period of time. From 2002 to 2014 to be specific, and are gorgeous to the eyes.