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Zino Orara’s landscape of Bridges and Boundaries…

Japhet Alakam
AFTER his last successful exhibition titled, An Exhibition of World Class Painting at Thought Pyramid Centre for African Arts and Kulture, Abuja in 2008, Zinno Orara, the Painter is back again with another exhibition that attempts to offer solutions to series of disagreements in the world.

The exhibition titled, Boundaries and Bridges – an exhibition of paintings was declared open by Chief Ede Dafenone on Saturday 27th March, 2010 at Quintessence Gallery Falomo, Lagos and will run till 17th April 2010.

The exhibition which according to the Curator of Quintessence kick started the Gallery’s exhibition season for the year is Zinno’s 12th solo exhibition having had various solo and group exhibitions in Nigeria, South Africa, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.

Zinno Orara who is celebrating his 21 years of studio practice, also in his characteristic way through the works reflects on the geographical and cultural backgrounds of the Nigerian nation. He paints from his life experiences because his works emanate from the interior of a highly sensitive and keenly perceptive mind with a disciplined observation of the things and events around him, Zinno tells the viewers, stories that help one to reflect on the state of nature and the nation.

Artistic statements

In one of his artistic statements, the artist who is currently based in Jos, Plateau State confessed that “Desire, passion or zeal give birth to accomplishment.  Successful people are those that are possessed by what they do. Being lukewarm, indifferent or neutral are sure ways to failure. We all encounter trials, tests and temptations as we attempt to get better in life. The comforting truth is that paths without obstacles do not lead to anywhere.”

Speaking about the title of the exhibition, the Painter , Psychologist and multiple awards winner said “we all know the meaning of Boundaries and Bridges. So, I am just saying that we should lay more emphasis on building bridges and not on boundaries as people, friends, husbands and wife, as a nation or a people. Let us emphasize on the things that join us than the things that divide us.”

“This exhibition is special at this material time because a lot of things are happening in Nigeria, the killings in Jos, Niger Delta crises, the constitutional issues etc. The exhibition is conceptualized to capture some of the contemporary Nigerian realities on canvas.

Like the title suggest the works project that Nigeria can build bridges across cultures, religions and cultural differences .So, all that I am saying is that if we are fair to each other we won’t have all those crises.So, I am just preaching fairness, let us build bridges and  not the things that divide us.” He said.

For instance Zinno in works like Inseparable, The Power of Agreement, Bond, You didn’t have to lie to me, The Bridge and The Things that Bind us  draws the attention of the world to those things that he preaches.

The exhibition featured about 33 paintings of oil on canvass, acrylic and mixed media that delivered special messages about the ills of society. According to him “I use all media, but I prefer oil because of its durability. Though I started with water colour, I later picked up on oil and acrylic to create the effect of water colour.”

Works on display includes: The Last Laugh, Oil, The Great Mind – Acrylic, Changing Seasons, Oil, Inseparable- Acrylic, End of Dark Tunnel- Oil, The Power of Agreement- Acrylic, Another Unanswered Question- Oil, Child and Child- Mixed Media, The Word- Oil, How Time Flies- Oil, The Things that Bind us- Mixed Media, Without A Shepherd- Oil, Government by the People- Oil, The Bridge- Oil etc.

Commenting about the works, Chief Ede Dafenone, the Special Guest of hounour said: “ I am very impressed with the different themes, different styles that Zinno has displayed here today. Most of the works are recent and the way he has captured some of the works especially in  the painting ‘Cool, Calm and Collected’ it is great.For Edosa Oguigo GFA President “Zinno has stepped up his works in terms of mastering materials, the ability to bring out such visibility for us to see and lead us to the world he lives in. His mode or style of expression he has mastered as a professional and I think that is the hallmark or dream of every artist.”

According to Chief Elizabeth Jibunoh of Didi Museum, “Zinno’s sincerity and dynamic style single him out as one of the most sought after artists today both locally and internationally. With emotive use of colours, powerful and meticulous composition, he has been able to gather a follower ship that would certainly amaze anyone.”

On his part, notable Art Collector and Director of Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF) Engr. Yemisi Shyllon commended him for his consistency as a studio artist since he graduated from school and described him as an “Artist’s  Artist on landscape.”


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