Stories by Japhet Alakam
FOR Sylvester Aguddah who had worked in the corporate world for years and enjoyed life, leaving the job was like the end of the road. But, the proverbial saying that “when one road closes, another one opens,” came to play in his life as God opened another door for him with his incursion into the art industry.
And ever since he went back to his passion, Aguddah has carved a niche for himself and is one of the names making waves in the art industry. The soft spoken artist may not necessarily belong to a particular art movement but he has demonstrated through his works that he has come to stay in the competitive art business. Aguddah who confessed that he never received any formal training in arts, but his works have continued to hold his audience in awe, disclosed that within two years, he had produced over 500 works and participated in over 20 solo exhibitions.
A visit to his studio at Ikeja reveals the stuff the former corporate guru-turned artist is made of. The studio, gallery and veranda were filled with different art works at different stages and a critical look at the works reveals that his subject matter are varied- between the contemporary and romantic. He treats human emotions to reach a vast audience.
In a chat with Vanguard Art, the Lagos State-born artist who started his career with Procter and Gamble, later joined British American Tobacco and finally Globacom before he left them to pursue his passion, disclosed that it has been a success story.
Speaking about his recent exhibitions and what informed the titles, Aguddah revealed that the titles of the exhibitions were formed by the situations around and nature of exhibitions. For example ,
AtmospHEre, a three-day exhibition held at Agness Place, Wuse 11 Abuja was inspired by the scripture: God in the centre of it all. “The idea and inspiration of all that I do is divine. I am taught by God, what I do is mere inspirational. Art makes me happy; doing something you like is fulfillment.
“It was three days of excitement, the first of its kind and the audience added a lot of colour to what we did. We introduced collage art, we created something uncommon, using paper to make clothes and the turnout was great. We were able to do wearable art that is African art on clothes and it was colourful and it also created an atmosphere for networking. It gave the Abuja audience something different. A collaboration of three of us, Esther Akindero, specialist in Paints and interior decoration and Ikpen Akwitti, a seamtress and fashion designer.”
Then the National treasure- held in line with the independence in October, to create a platform for people who are creative to do something. Explore the inbuilt talent and use it to project a very good image for the country.
“This February, I will be hosting another exhibition titled Arts & Scents. The exhibition which is expected to be the first of its kind to take place at the departure hall of the MM2 will open on 11th and run till 15th of February 2019. “In this season of love, we intend to give art lovers an opportunity to beautify their homes, offices with art works made in Nigeria.”
It is supported by LeeZworld Enterprises Ltd, a home accessories company that is equipping the homes of individuals.
After Arts & Scents, there will be another exhibition at Lennox Mall tagged Senses which will open from 1st to 3rd March 2019. It is going to feature an infusion of art, taste, eat and sense that will give viewers peace of mind. The intention is to challenge your taught with uncommon things made beautiful. It is sponsored by Lennox Mall who are interested in promoting African art.
On how art changed his life, Aguddah said: “Its been very interesting, everyday I meet more people; I get more ideas, telling stories. Everyday I look out for things that happen around me and use it to tell stories. Art is a life therapy, the colours and symbols help to relax the mind.
“Art has really changed my life. The incredible exhibition platforms and sponsorship has afforded me the opportunity to meet prominent personalities all around the world.
“It has also given me the opportunity to support and promote other visual artists and upcoming musicians. I have met presidents, governors, and ministers. My works have brought me before great men and women. In the last two years, I have had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with great personalities.
“It has also improved my relationship with God; made me to spend more quiet times and get more revelations. It gives me freedom of expression, improved my cognitive abilities and health because it made me happy. Art gave me fulfillment and deeper appreciation for nature, a healing therapy that relaxes the mind and awakes your senses.”
Continuing, he stated that “we are still growing, taking art works to the consumers by holding exhibitions at unusual places. We thank God for the media partners, social media who has been a source of growth for us. My mission is to produce art works that can appeal to local and international collectors.”
Finally, he appealed to the government, big companies and individuals to rise up and support the art industry by buying their art works.