Friday 22 June 2012

OYASAF, Lagos university empower artists at 2nd Art Entrepreneurship Workshop

Again, Omoba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF) supports one of Nigeria’s leading universities in empowering artists via workshops.

It’s the Creative Arts Department, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos' workshop tagged Unilag Art Entrepreneurship Workshop.

At the closing ceremony, awards were given to some outstanding participants. 
 Sessions for the workshop included jewelry (chain mail/wire knitting /sheet metal work/ bead stringing) as well as watercolour painting and an open session in ceramics.
  A resource person and African-American artist Brett Cook,  joined others such as Sam Ovraiti, Ibe Ananaba, Ato Arinze, and Ariyo Oguntimehin to facilitate the workshop.

Prince Yemisi Shyllon (left), giving one of the participants a certificate during the closing ceremony.
   The founder of OYASAF, Prince Yemisi Shyllon disclosed that master printmaker, Dr. Bruce Onobrakpeya’s “revelation to me that Uli Beier’s art workshop, Mbari Mbayo changed his art, inspired and encouraged me to get involved in this workshop”. Shyllon argued that Nigeria should emulate Japan, the far-east country that has no mineral resources, but is the third largest economy in the world, “based on creativity and production.”
  Onobrakpeya, who was a special guest at the event, said he was glad that Dr. Peju Layiwola and Shyllon organised the workshop. He stated that “am not surprised because for 12 years, Layiwola participated in the annual Harmattan Workshop at Agbaro-Otor, Delta State.” According to the great artist, Shyllon “has set the pace in promoting art, as the workshop has brought the town and gown together.”
  Awardees of the second Unilag Entrepreneurship Workshop and chosen for being the best in each of the sessions included Uche Ezebiro, for wireworks; Uhorha Splendour, watercolour; Temilola Marindoti, beads; Ojetunde Sherriff, ceramics.

Friday 15 June 2012

Art community deepens OYASAF scholars' missions

Ahead of the conclusion of researches by two Omoba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Foundation (OYASAF) fellowship grantees, Amanda Hellman of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S and Erin Rice from University of Bern, Switzerland, the Lagos art community had an interactive session with the visitors.

Amanda Hellman, Yemisi Shyllon and Erin Rice
 While Hellman and Rice gave separate reports of their works, responses from the audience offered the visiting scholars more info into the dynamics of the country’s art, particularly in areas that may help enrich the researches.

Amanda is working on what she themes The Intersection between Museum Development and Modern Art in Nigeria as well as researches one of the two pioneers of Nigerian modern art, Akinola Lasekan. Rice focuses The Architecture of Identity: Textiles and Impermanence in the Construction of Art and Space in Nigeria and Ghana.
  Inside the OYASAF Conference, on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, participants at the interactive section included artists such as Kolade Oshinowo, Olu Amoda, Dr Peju Layiwola, Kunle Adeyemi, Oliver Enwonwu, Ato Arinze as well as art connoisseurs and enthusiasts.
  Art writers and journalists such as Ozolua Uhakheme, Tajudeen Sowole, Chuka Nnabuife, Okechukwu Uwazuoke, Melinda Akinlami, Chioma Okpara, among others also participated.
Hellman, Chief Mrs Funmilayo Shyllon, Yemisi Shyllon, Rice and artists, art journalists, art enthusiasts, shortly after the interactive session.
  In contributions from the participants which touched areas such as the background of the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos, attitude of Nigerians' museum going culture, role of Akinola Lasekan in Nigerian contemporary art and new use of textile by artists, Amanda and Erin, hoped to expand their research to cover as many areas as suggested.
  The founder of OYASAF, Prince Yemisi Shyllon stated that the grantees' visit to Nigeria stresses the organisation’s commitment to expand the knowledge-base of of the world about Nigerian art. He also disclosed that Hellman and Rice would proceed to visit art resource centres such as Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, and various art studios and traditional sites in Osogbo, Osun State.

Sunday 10 June 2012

Switzerland-based scholar focuses textiles in African art space

As more African artists, home and the Diaspora are using textile to enhance concept and theme, one of the two first set of OYASAF fellowship scholars in 2012, Erin Rice rsearches what she calls The Architecture of Identity: Textiles and Impermanence in the Construction of Art and Space in Nigeria and Ghana.

She notes that though the technique of using textile is not new, but it's a recent experience for most artists just as the interest is growing. And between style and technique - within modernity and contemporaneity context - Rice argues that "contemporary reflects the time, modern reflects the technique."

Rice is from the doctoral program at the University of Bern, Switzerland.
Before coming to Nigeria on May 31, 2012, her project focused on the works of El Anatsui, Yinka Shonibare and Sokari Douglas Camp, all of whom use or reference textiles in their sculptural work, using themes such as Ghanaian native textile, kente, Dutch Wax Print otherwise known as ankara in Nigeria, and injiri respectively. She examined the relevance of these textiles in the works within the context of the Western art world.

By taking her research to Lagos, she hopes to gain an understanding of how textiles function in everyday life and in contemporary art on a local level, which will add a new, critical dimension to her work.

Her thesis addresses several key questions relevant to Nigeria:

§  What role(s) do textiles play in contemporary Nigerian society?
§  How do textiles symbolize the identity of Nigerian artists when exhibiting abroad?
§  How are artists within Nigeria using textiles? How is their use different from those in Europe and the US?
§  How have textiles shaped the construction of space in the post-Independence era?
§  How can traditional forms of impermanent architecture shed light on newer forms of building?
§  Within the construction of these spaces, how is the identity of the community being addressed or symbolized?