All of this week I have been dreaming in colour. It is a pleasant and beautiful experience. My dreams have been fed by all the paintings I have been enjoying recently and will enjoy through this weekend..
On Monday, 21st of November, I attended the Winter Show - a group exhibition at the Commonwealth Club in London by the trio of commonwealth artists Michael Echekoba (Nigeria), Phyllis Dupuy (Canada), and Swadeka Ahsun (Mauritius).
Echekoba’s works capture images and sceneries that celebrate life in Nigeria and Europe. I particularly loved the picture of lovers strolling arm in arm, and the textured celebration of the red wine in the picture above. Quite a few of Echekoba’s pantings were about living life, about intimate moments frozen in beautiful colours. A beautiful collection this winter.
I did not have the opportunity of meeting Swadeka Ahsun, there were some really spooky paintings I wanted to discuss. That will wait for another time. Phyllis Dupuy is a great portraitist. According to her, she has been doing portraits for only about 4 years, but the photographic detail and atmosphere in those images were intriguing. I wonder what her portraits will look like in 10 years time.
A bit of an exhibitionist myself, I could not resist a photo opportunity with the artist.
On November 26th and 27th, Chike Azuonye will hold a 2-day solo exhibition titled View Point – an exhibition of recent works at the WAC Gallery, 14 Baylis Road, Waterloo, SE1 7AA on Satuday 26th and Sunday 27th November 2011. The event will be on from 11:00am to 8:00pm on both days.
Here is a press release by Chike Azuonye:
Chike Azuonye announces new solo Art Exhibition
Azuonye is a Nigeria-born artist who has been active in the London art scene since the late 1980s. His works are remarkable for their depths of expression and thought. At first glance of Chike’s works, the viewer is presented with rich vibrant colours harmoniously orchestrated like music. Art to him is about celebration and immediacy: something to be enjoyed and appreciated. But on a closer look, Chike has always a message beyond the aesthetics; a narrative which delves into his African root, as well as his philosophical leaning and pursuits.
Chike acknowledges three prominent artists as having influenced his art today. These mentors are Gauguin, Modigliani and his university lecturer Prof Obiora Udechukwu, a lecturer at St Lawrence University in the United States of America. Chike, from his early years in the university, studied Gauguin and his palette and with the help of his lecturer, gained mastery in both theory and practical application of colour. The element of distortion in his work was inspired by Professor Udechukwu, especially, from his Biafra and Nigerian war-sketch diaries. Much later, Chike developed intense interest in Modigliani and his technique of elongation of the human form. Armed with these tools, Chike formally developed a style, which gives his work a unique and fresh appeal.
In the 80s, Chike, who is also a poet, had several exhibitions which he developed, based on themes and images from favourite poems. Later, those themes evolved into motifs that enabled him to explore his inner recesses and to produce outstanding surrealistic and mystical works.
In the 90s, there was sudden departure from his surrealistic approach to a more recognisable form. Chike started working on the numerous sketches of his Nigerian root, especially those motifs that provided him with a narrative about commerce, farming and cultural life of the people. Amongst his paintings were: the “Milk Maid,” a series on the “Market Women,” the “Drummers,” and the “Rites of Passage.”
From 2000, Chike began to explore abstract art and in the years to follows produced many abstract arts, notably, Mediation, Re-birth and Creation. During this period, Chike had numerous group shows and some solo shows.
View Point, his latest exhibition is a celebration of all these years, showcasing some of his themes, images and styles. Chike is eclectic in his work, and challenges himself with the mastery of various artistic media, such as Acrylic, Oil, Charcoal and watercolour.
For more information visit: www.chikeazuonye.com