By PRISCA SAM DURU
The just concluded exhibition tagged Fireworks by Chike Onuorah, held at Terra Kulture, Lagos, shows that the Nigeria painter best known as D’Artist has succeeded in proving the point that irrespective of the challenges undermining Nigerian artists, he is bent on maintaining his energy in terms of consistency and creativity.
This, Chike has succeeded in doing for the past 6 years by organising regular solo shows in other that the level of art appreciation and documentation does not dwindle.
Last year, Onuorah exhibited Full Moon at same venue where he flaunted his ingenuity to his numerous viewers. The show was a huge success.
The styles evident in Fireworks, a body of works that portrays a connection with the artist’s immediate past exhibitions also, speaks volume of an improvement on the identity Chike carved for himself years ago.
In response to this, D’Artist who described Fireworks as “explosion of creativity” disclosed that the exhibition which greatly showcased such styles as Splashillino and Plastillino, which he coined years ago after the introduction of the ‘lino’ identity into his work, are largely portrayed in Fireworks. About four years after, Splashillino has maintained the leading style in the Fireworks show, taking along the Plastillino series. The ‘lino’ family creation of Onuorah, which appeared in the public, perhaps, for the first time, six years ago, include Crackilino, Splashillino, Plastillino and Grassillino.
Most of the works showcased which are recent, according to him, “showcase the consolidation of my styles vis-à-vis time and experience.”
Through works such as Journey of Life, Level Don Change, Amazon, Incredible Love and of course, the title piece Firework Onuorah positively, presented to viewers, the metamorphosis his art has undergone especially with his ‘lino’ styles in the last four years.
The central theme of the exhibition as derived from the painting titled, Fireworks, which is a portrait of an unidentified face seems to be sending out to audience, some sort of warning best interpreted by the viewer.
The painting titled, The Journey Of Life, derived from the vicissitudes of life and ‘lino’ style, strictly portrayed the message of the D’artist’s. Here, he flaunts his versatility by highlighting the message through poetry thus; “Like the boats sailing in the sea / Swaying to the rhythm of the waves / Maintaining the course no matter what may be…Make a choice to stay alive / For this is the journey of life”.
As regards reasons for his consistency and improvement on his art, Onuorah explained that “It is that desire to conquer another possibility and create something else that just may never come into existence if I do not. This is my job, my hobby, my everything, my all. It is what I do and I’m loving it. I’m never in a hurry to let go of my works in a non- exhibition platform; hence, I always have a repertoire waiting to be exhibited, not mentioning those reserved for retirement.”
“I love my work. I love being an artist. I always look forward to my next exhibition because my passion for work “is the tonic that keeps me going”. He concluded.