By JAPHET ALAKAM
For the average young girl, especially one who grew up in a university environment, the choice of arts as a profession will be the last thing in her mind, considering the nonchalant attitude of government to arts and the level of arts appreciation in the country, but to Angela Isiuwe, that is not so.
The 1992 graduate of Auchi Polytechnic who had participated in many group exhibitions and recently concluded a successful joint exhibition with her husband has described art as a call she will never ignore.
“Painting to me is a call I will never ignore. It is my life, my voice by which I could be recognised.”
Angela who is a full time studio artist and one inspired and nurtured by mutual love, creative affiliation and geared towards bringing a breath of fresh air to the increasingly vibrant Nigerian art scene with her husband, Emmanuel a painter also, said that unlike other people who stumbled into arts, her choice of arts is divine, “I could’nt say I stumbled into art, I consciously went into art after secondary school, having grown up in one of the higher institutions, Abraka, where my father was a lecturer. I know what art is, so I decided from primary school that I am going to read art and thereafter went to Auchi Polytechnic for 5 years to study art. But after graduation I studied under Sam Ovraiti and consequently I branched out of regular art and now I do more of minimalist art, lineal art.”
The amiable mother of five, who recently had a successful exhibition with her husband at Didi Museum paid a visit to Vanguard office with two art works , one of which is titled Age of Innocence, a painting of a young girl covering part of her body. Speaking about the work, Angela said, “looking at the painting you could see the lady still covering a side of her body. I can say that it could get to a time when shyness, innocence would leave her and there will be no need for the wrapper. As time goes on, when the innocence and shyness have cleared, there will be no need for the wrapper.”
Contnuing she said that the message is simple , it is telling young girls to cherish their age of innocence. “I have an 18 year old daughter who is in a hurry to become an adult and I remind her that the time is very short, time of innocence is very short that she should enjoy it. After some time, she will not do some of those things as a child. She will become an adult, age of innocence has passed. From that painting I am telling children that are growing up, to enjoy their youth while it lasts, enjoy your innocence while it lasts.”
Angela who renders her paintings in evocative swift lines also has a word for upcoming artist. To her, “Art is about passion, if you are doing something you love with passion, if you are doing arts, you don’t look at the money first. It has taken me years, I graduated in 1992, and yet it has not been so rosy, but being consistent and being passionate about it. I don’t think that I regret being a full time studio artist. In fact, if I am to be born again, I will still like to be an artist. There is a lot of joy in it.”