Chike<br />Photo: africanartswithtaj

When the International Women’s Day 2018 is celebrated on March 8, artist, Chike Onuorah, will offer his paintings as a mark of solidarity with the softer gender. Also known as D’Artist,

Onuorah, whose work most often uses female forms to express socio-cultural thematic rendition, celebrates what he describes as unquantifiable values of women.

With a new body of work titled Press for Progress, showing from March 8 through 21, 2018, at Moor House Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos, the artist will show the direction through which society needs to navigate for progress and development.

The exhibition is part of the ‘New Possibilities’ initiative of the curator, Naomi Ora Ataguba.

“This exhibition titled Press for Progress showcases the essence, value, importance and strength of women in our daily lives,” D’Artist declared during the preview.

“It displays their eternal relevance to our daily existence and the need for constant appraisal and appreciation for womanhood.”

Expressing the said values in visual context are paintings such as ‘Knowledge is Power’ and ‘You Are An Icon’ among other pieces for the exhibition.

Still a consistent impressionist, D’Artist has added a fresh texture to his canvas in the two works. It’s a freshness that radiates his contemporary focus, despite being largely figural in rendition.

Thematically, in focusing on women’s value to society, D’ Artist anchors his thoughts on education for the girl child. For example, he captures young a girl reading from a book in his style of painting that flows with impressionism.

“The empowerment of the girl child through education equals the training of a community of men because children get their first and basic education from their mothers,” he noted, adding that in achieving progress, “we must firstly appreciate these values in our everyday life and encourage their upliftment and greater advancement in all aspects of our existence.”

Arguably one of the few artists in Lagos who has sustained a yearly calendar of shows in the past 10 years, D’Artist’s canvas keeps evolving.

And, as he expplained it, “I have currently explored a purpose-driven increase in dexterity and calculated minimalism in achieving greater value and content in communication with the viewer.”

He explained how much of change his canvas has been in the last two years. “This has brought forth the merger of ‘splashillino’ and ‘plastillino’ in majority of the current creative expositions. Press for Progress is an introduction.”

And looking forward, he has his eyes set on ‘The Statement,’ an upcoming show at another gallery in Victoria Island. D’Artist’s Press for Progress opens a new phase of regular art exhibitions at Moor House.

The curator, Ataguba is bringing fresh textures into the art exhibition space at Moor House with ‘New Possibilities’, a central theme under which Press for Progress is being shown.

“’New Possibilities’ is intended to evoke and challenge both the artist and the collector to rise above the mundane and familiar to aspire to new horizons of hope,” Ataguba stated ahead of the first show.

“The choice of artists is deliberate and intended to perpetuate the theme of the exhibition which is ‘hope.’”

Sponsored by Studio 24, a creative imaging solution, Moor House Hotels and M-Gallery, the exhibitions under ‘New Possibilities’, according to the curator, are about how ‘Hope’ gives one the reason to wake to responsibilities, dream dreams and live life with great expectations.”

Excerpts from Ataguba’s curatorial statement notes: “The hues and colours combine to lighten the mood, quicken a joyous emotion and feelings of excitement.

Throughout these exhibitions, our desire is to see that every month the audiences will see what the various artists see, feel and hope for. Hope to live another day; hope to aspire to greater heights; hope to see new possibilities where hitherto it’s been impossible.

“We hope that people will feel hope and, month in month out, will infect everyone within their circle thereby creating a viral feeling of hope beyond comprehension. We will generate so much enthusiasm never felt or experienced before on a scale that will shake the nation as a whole.”

Source: Naija Hope Team

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