The Arts

May 28, 2024

Serenity captures serene stillness amidst global chaos

By Prisca Sam-Duru

For UK-based Nigerian artist Favour Ben, creativity flows effortlessly, marked by a distinctive and profound style.

A multifaceted visual artist, storyteller, and filmmaker, Favour left Nigeria not too long ago and has quickly established herself as one of the notable figures, putting Nigeria on the global art and entertainment stage.

Favour’s works are deeply rooted in the rich tapestry of African culture, showcasing her diverse background in filmmaking, directing, producing, and scriptwriting. Driven by a passion for resurrecting the beauty of African heritage through art, she captivates audiences with her evocative creations. Each piece serves as a testament to the timeless allure of African artistry and the enduring spirit of its people. “My work revolves around African culture,” she emphasized.

Favour’s professional journey into the art world began in 2019, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was starting. The pandemic initially hindered her ability to hold exhibitions. However, once restrictions eased, she participated in numerous group exhibitions across the UK. Her work has also been featured in several UK art magazines, extending its reach and recognition. Through both virtual and physical exhibitions, she continues to share her artistic vision with a global audience.

Looking ahead, Favour is gearing up for upcoming showcases later this year.

“Competing in skill-based exhibitions and attending showcases of artists I admire has greatly enriched my artistic journey. Each experience bolstered my confidence and fuelled my determination to further explore and contribute to the world of visual arts,” she stated.

While Favour is a multifaceted artist, visual art holds a special place in her heart. “Drawing from my background in filmmaking and scriptwriting, my work delves into conveying beauty, personality, and the environmental impacts that people often overlook. Although my roots lie in filmmaking and stage acting, I’ve found that visual art offers a more expressive platform, particularly for nurturing lessons that transcend words and are built upon through imagery.”

After leaving Nigeria in 2022, Favour felt drawn back to the world of visual arts, experiencing a newfound sense of liberation in exploring this creative realm. The absence of African artistic influences in her new environment solidified her decision to delve deeper into this passion.

One of her outstanding works, titled “Serenity,” exemplifies how the artist uses art to express her innermost feelings and capture moods while spreading a message of hope. “I created this piece during the COVID-19 pandemic when there was a lot of turmoil in the world. People were dying, and there was barely any chance to meet physically with the people we love. We prayed and hoped for peace in the minds of those who were sick and those who lost their loved ones. This year, we began experiencing such peace, but it has been cut short by recent conflicts in Gaza, Israel, Ukraine, and Russia.

“Just like this bird seated in peace in the woods, looking at the lake with such calmness, I question whether humans will ever experience this level of peace again with the issues going on in the world. There’s hunger, death, panic, suicide, and more. Is humanity slowly taking a walk?”

Favour’s “Serenity” captures a moment of serene stillness amidst global chaos. The piece features a solitary white bird perched delicately on a piece of weathered wood, gazing out over a tranquil lake. The bird’s calm demeanour and poised stance evoke a sense of quiet reflection as if it is contemplating its surroundings with profound peace. The soft focus of the background, with its muted greens and browns, contrasts beautifully with the sharp detail of the bird’s feathers, creating a harmonious balance between foreground and background. This visual contrast emphasizes the bird’s purity and tranquillity, making it the focal point of the composition.

The choice of subject and setting is deeply symbolic. The bird, a universal symbol of freedom and peace, stands alone, much like humanity during the COVID-19 pandemic—a time when isolation and uncertainty were prevalent. Yet, despite the solitude, there is an air of hope and resilience in the bird’s stance, suggesting inner strength and quiet optimism.

The art piece invites viewers to pause and reflect on their own experiences of peace and turmoil. It reminds us of the importance of finding moments of calm and introspection, even when the world around us seems chaotic. The serene setting and the bird’s composed presence encourage a meditative state, urging us to seek out and cherish those fleeting instances of tranquillity in our lives.

In light of recent global conflicts and ongoing struggles, “Serenity” serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring human spirit. It prompts us to consider whether we can ever truly attain such peace amidst the challenges we face. The image encapsulates the delicate balance between hope and despair, offering a visual representation of the quest for inner peace in a tumultuous world.

Overall, this piece is a powerful and evocative piece of art that speaks to the resilience of the human spirit and the timeless pursuit of peace. It is a testament to Favour Ben’s ability to capture reflective emotion and convey a universal message through the simple yet profound imagery of a bird at peace.