By Japhet Davidson
It was another amazing outing for one of Nigeria’s contemporary prolific artist, Mr Sylvester Aguddah as he added another feather to his myraids of caps with the successful hosting of a unique solo exhibition that showcased his works from 1999/2000 till date.
The venue was as usual the art friendly hotel that had been supportive to him, Radisson Blu Hotel, Ikeja and as one enters the reception one was greeted with artworks that directs the fellow to one of the halls where over 104 works were displayed.
The hall was laced with works of various sizes that speak to viewers in the language they understand and one wonders how long it took the artist to gather the works. It was indeed art in fullness, as apart from visual works, there also artistic slippers, engrafted shirts, jewelries, carved traditional stools and tables etc.
The exhibition which attracted visitors from all walks of life as each day witnessed different art lovers, patrons and collectors who came to identify with the God taught artist opened on the 16th of July and ended on 25th July 2021.
Some of the works displayed include; Unfinished business, Nature series, Gold, Nwa nna, Rythm of blues, Lady Victoria, Beehive, Emily, Folasade, Emotions and many untitled works. But of special notice were the three metal untitled works that depicts a horse, elephant and an eagle. Accordig to him, “the works talks about strength, the horse, potrays the challenges we are going through in Nigeria as a nation, it is to encourage us to stay strong and positive.
The Eagle which sows higher above the storm in different times is a reminder that no matter how tough we should not loose hope, and the Elephant, big, quite, reasonable and intelligent, an animal that does not make too much noise, depicting the lifestyle of many who has many plans but could not put them in order, they need to start somewhere and implement it.” Other works promote African stories laced with colours, designs and patterns.
And one other feature that added colour to the works were the series of bicycles that were hanged in different positions and one wonders the correlation between the works and the bicycles, an issue the artist explained , “the bicycle have been part of me since 1983, I started with tricycle, I can’t go on vacation with out my bicycle. I use it to connect with nature in my environment and I put down most of them in drawing later.”
In his artistic statement, “Art is my gift from God as I have been drawing from age 7 and have never had any formal training in the arts. I call my self the “God taught Artist” because asides my signature style which is collage, I find myself exploring more media of art which include spray on canvas, sketches, photo art, painting and then recently I have been working with wire strips and broken pieces of frames and it has been quite an amazing and fulfilling journey. In this exhibition, I am sharing with you some of my old and recent works curated to show these different media and of course a hobby that inspires me as an artist..cycling.”
On why he came up with over hundred works in various sizes, the business admin graduate turned artist said “I promote Africa and want people to have art works in their homes and places and that is why I do exhibition in unconventional places, and produce art works in different shapes and sizes so that no one enters here without leaving with a piece”.
On her part, the curator, Ifeanyichukwu Oraemeka said, “The exhibition features the collection of old and recent works of Aguddah, a prolific artist. The works depicts his love for nature, human interaction and life experiences. In it , you will see some works showing animals that depict strength which is what we need as human beings.
Art is about breaking boundaries and that he did when he started experimenting with metal and broken pieces which is an unsual art and from there he produced the new works. The exhibition evinces his prolific renditions and highlights a hobby- cycling which he says liberates him and has been an influence in his freedom to create art.”