By Japhet Alakam
As part of the objectives ofÂ Nike Art and Culture Foundation to play home to numerous forms of artistic expression, the magnificent art centre owned by renowned textile artist and painter, Oyenike Davies Okundaye located in Lekki Roundabout in Lekki, Lagos last week played host to many art and culture lovers courtesy of her first exhibition of the year entitled- Timeless Energy: An Exhibition of Painting and Mixed- media by Zibor Moses.
The exhibition which was the first solo effort by the BayelsaÂ State bornÂ 2007 graduate of the famous Yaba College of Technology kicked off on Saturday 13th March and will run till Saturday 26th March, 2010. It was declared opened byÂ Mr Chris Patriarca of Shell Nig Plc, an avid art collector and the husband of the Business Manager of Nike Art and Culture Foundation, Ms. Donnie Day Patriarca.
In Timeless Energy…, Zibor engages his viewers with his creative dialogue of the issues around the country through anÂ effective use and exploitation of the physical and mental spaces.
According to him, â€œthe works cut across a lot of areas including; political, economical and social areas. On the title of the show, Zibor explained that â€œwhen you talk about Timeless Energy, I am talking about the energy around us. There is so much energy in the water, in the animals, in human beings and in every thing around us. All the things that are going on in our environment in the country are not going well, so I am trying to use this exhibition to pass a message to the people about the ills in the society and the need to correct them.â€
Zibor who works on all kinds of media including found objects, acrylic, oil colours and water colours joins other Nigerians through visual interventionsÂ in commenting on the things happening in the country.Â â€œThe issue of electricity, the issue of the religious crisis that is causing mayhem in Jos and the leadership problems in the country need to be corrected. But since we donâ€™t have the right people to come and talk about them , I use these media to pass my messages to Nigerians.â€Â He said.
On display at the exhibition were about 36 works that provoke interest new frontiers of intellectual inquest on what is going on in and around Nigeria. Works like Lamp unto my feet, Strength of a Woman, Idumota 1 & 2, Last Supper, Yellow Buses, Vision 2020, Where is My President, Waiting, Eyo Festival, Drummers on the move and others.
Speaking about the work, Vision 2020,(mixed media) Zibor said â€œ this particular work talks about my vision for my country. I am 32 years old. I was born here and have been living here and I know the situation of things here. My mother is from Ghana. Though I have not been there, but the stories that I hear is that Ghana has regular supply of electricity. But I find it difficult to find out why my own country cannot have regular supply of electricity. It is a kind of vision that I have for my country which is in line with the Federal governmentâ€™s own vision 2020.â€ He said.
Lamp unto my feet (mixed media) another of Ziborâ€™s creations, he explains, â€œ tells about my life, all the toils from my younger age till now. It is God that has been guiding me and I know that he is still going to be guiding me. The lamp represents Him (God) the creator of all universe and the pair of slippers representÂ my feet. It signifies that all through my life, whatever I do, He is the one that has been showing me the way.
Idumota 1, he said, depicts the crowd effect of the old Lagos, traffic congestion , the mob and its terrible effectÂ until Governor Fashola came and changed the situation while Strength of an African Woman, (mixed media)a painting with bottle covers shows the beauty of an African woman, her passion and enormous liability to take care of her children at all times.
Speaking with the young artist, Zibor who started drawing at a very tender age , he told Sunday arts that heÂ he was inspired by the likes of Kolade Oshinowo, Abiodun Olakun,Edosa Oguigo and Leonard Da Vinci.
â€œThough my father wanted me to be a Doctor or an Engineer and because of that he did not support me initially .But he later supported me.â€ Continuing he added that he decided to hold the exhibition at Nike Art Center in Lekki despite the location because it has a lot of space.
â€œMost of the works I have are large works and other galleries do not have this size of space to accommodate them. But this gallery is big enough, and also the types of people that come around the gallery are art lovers. Again ,based on what the gallery is trying to do, that is to project our culture, I decided to hold my exhibition here in order to be part of it that vision.â€
Commenting on the exhibition Ms. Donnie Day Patriarca, the Business Manager of Nike Art and Culture Foundation said â€œI think he is one of the most prolific artists that we have here in the gallery, and also, I am always impressed by the different styles he explores. He works in different areas, his creativity, his ideas are just superb.â€