Talking about Chamberlin Ukenedo and Beyond Oil may be a bit far-fetched considering the fact that I could not meet him when I visited the Rele Art Gallery on a week day way after the private exhibition.
I had been invited through an email and I swept my feet into a Lagos yellow danfo bus with my friend, Temitayo Akere and got to the exhibition. Temitayo asked interesting questions and did all the talking while I took notes and pictures.
We got the relevant descriptions of each work from a Rele Art gallery guide, Kehinde and I remember she talked about the technique used by the mixed media artist, Chamberlin Ukenedo.
Chamberlin (Can I call him that? ) created digital art, printed it on a canvas, made it amazing with acrylic and then added glitter and buttons for this master piece right here
Some pieces such as “the eyes have it”, “I don talk my own” and “in the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king” was just breathtaking. His work; Beyond Oil made me feel like swaying gently to jazz on a Saturday night, embracing the sound through my heart and not ears.
Chamberlain uses his art to speak about his environment (much like what Mike Asukwo does with his cartoons). His work show his perception of human emotions towards their environment.
Ok these installations were super innovative. Imagine human beings coming out of a 25 litre keg filled with fuel saying, “We cant afford this please, we don’t want this…bla, bla, bla”. I liked that.
THE ARTISTS WORDS
According to the gallery, Chamberlin Ukenedo says;
“Nigeria is a gifted child well beyond oil. To harness the potentials beyond the barrels is now more imperative than ever since a drop in oil price is a drop in our collective expectations.
As a series of works, Beyond Oil is both personal and general. It expresses my concerns as an artist who plies his trade within a given political space. Both ways, oil is my sustenance but it now drops and hardly flows.
Caught in-between these travails, these works are set to interrogate the place of oil in the context of my artiste and socio-economic man.
As a matter of life and politics, it is both an artistic and political vision; a visual interpretation of the artist and Nigeria after oil.
Beyond oil is therefore a provocation that lubricates our other potentials and sets both medium and the message in notion.
As such, it activates the link on the one hand between traditional and new media with little or no oil and on the other hand, a Nigeria stuck in a creeping state of existence.
Diversification is therefore the unspoken word that lifts my socio-political being beyond oil; it marks a paradigmatic shift in creativity for sustenance (or survival) in the wake of the dwindling value of oil.
The style used is more of digitally arranged coloured dots at close range assisted with some form of illusion.
Diversifying from oil (major income) in Nigeria has triggered a revolution of entrepreneurs, this is my documentation in vibrant colours, dots and surreal images.
To appreciate it, kindly step back and discover new vistas within.”
You can check out more of his works here
Have you attended an art exhibition before?
Did you attend the Beyond Oil exhibition by Chamberlain Ukenedo?
Have you attended Rele Art gallery’s Art Salon before?
What was your experience?
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Have a lovely week
Note: All the pictures were taken with my phone hence the picture quality.