Landmark’s art gallery launched its maiden edition of ‘On Display: A Festival of the Arts’ on the 1st of October 2021. The exhibition theme ‘wielding power’ is one that could have several interpretations in the context of the exhibition. It could be interpreted as ‘wielding power’ in the sense that it’s time for young Nigerians to begin to take on power positions and lead Nigeria where we want it to be. On the other hand it could be a reference to the medium used by majority of the artists as three out of the five artists made use of welded metal scraps to create their pieces. You get it? If you don’t get it, forget about it.

My experience at the exhibition is difficult to infer. Each artist stirred up various emotions and reactions as a result of their work. This was by reason of the medium, the message being passed across and the message being interpreted by me.

The set up of the exhibition begins with two eye capturing pieces from Gbemileke Adekunle; Adéfúntó and Sisí Oge No.2. These paintings of two women evoke a slightly uncomfortable feeling. At initial glance, the women look rather normal, both posed for the portrait, but on examining the details of the women, it sends a light chill down my back.

A little walk from the spine chilling work from Adekunle, I’m thrown into Uzor Ugoala’s faceless world. I found it challenging interpreting his work. his four piece exhibit all featured faceless men who all seemed to be breaking free from the shackles of life but those are the denotative meanings, easily interpreted. Discovering its deeper existential interpretation was torturous. After spending many minutes staring at his work, I gave up because maybe that’s all to it, maybe there’s no denotative meaning.

A turn from the torturous world of Ugoala, I find myself in Samuel Nnorom’s colorful space. Nnorom’s work features moulds of fibre glass and colorful fabric. A lifesize masquerade sculpture takes the position of the most captivating piece in his exhibit. Taking in his pieces, I can’t help but imagine these pieces in my home, my blissful imagination is quickly corrupted by horror filled scenarios of those sculptures gaining some life force and attacking me.

As I scurry away from Nnorom and his colorful pieces I’m transported to the Afro-metalic world of Dotun Popoola. I’m first met with a life-size afro comb of some sort. This afro-comb is no ordinary comb as it has a large femme-like face at the centre. the hair on the face is made from over a hundred spark plugs, while the forehead of the face is a textured pattern of butterflies. It’s a rather fascinating piece to behold, the same goes for the rest of pieces in his exhibit. The detailing in each of the sculptures is enough to have you taking in one piece at least twenty minutes.

A short stroll from Popoola’s plane and I’m in an equally familiar corner. Adeola Balogun’s little corner is not so different from Popoola’s plane as they both make use of welded scraps to create their pieces. Balogun’s two piece exhibit features a large drum made from cow skin and welded metal mixed with several motherboards. A rather interesting concept if i must say. A bit challenging to interpret but captivating nevertheless.

All in all it was a was an enthralling experience curated by the gallery. The Festival of Arts exhibition is still up until the 9th of October 2021 and the Landmark Center. What are you waiting for? go and check it out!

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