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Temple Muse celebrates anniversary with Onadipe’s exhibition

Olamide Babatunde

As part of its activities lined up to celebrate its tenth year of existence, Temple Muse is holding a solo exhibition of paintings and sculptures with the theme “Connecting Dot” by an experimental artist, Olumide Onadipe. The exhibition is supported by VeuveClicquot, and runs through August 30, 2018.

In her opening remarks, Sandra Obiago, Artistic Director of SMO Contemporary Art and curator of the exhibition, said over 40 of Olumide’s thought-provoking works show amazing artistic dexterity, sensitivity, and breadth in tackling urgent issues of global consumerism against the backdrop of daunting environmental pressures facing millions of Africans every day.

His signature sculptures, made from up-cycled and re-purposed plastic shopping bags, water sachets, juice packs, cement bags and newspapers, are presented alongside his paintings, which are a continuation of his eclectic palette of rich materiality and textural freedom, showing human forms emerging out of intricate tangles of roots and leaves.

She further disclosed that Connecting the Dots exposes “the different layers of Onadipe’s artistic personality in which he grapples with identity and migration vis-à-vis a universal yearning for global citizenship and communication across a world of bold color.

“In Connecting the Dots, we see an artist who boldly questions the status-quo, and whose art has swept him to the very cusp of the rising tide of contemporary art coming out of Nigeria. His expression is in-sync with the aspirations of millions of Nigerian youths trying to seek better livelihoods within a totally overburdened natural and political ecosystem,” she said.

“The materials I explore, polythene bags, newspapers, jute and cement bags, electrical cables, ink, paint, wood, and metal reflect ‘ordinary’ Nigerian life and question our consumerism,” commented Onadipe, whose work is referenced against Africa’s rich history, adding, “A continent that supports the economy of the rest of the world, now has need for support and a people of earliest inventors and inventions have become consumers.”

For Onadipe, as an artist, you have to evolve with your works and subsequently it becomes better as the years progress. Initially, I started as a sculpture and when I discovered how to melt plastics, it gave me the opportunity to explore into other forms of art.

I always believe that you can achieve whatever you want to achieve depending on your belief.

“When I was in school, my paintings are usually dirty, and someone told me, I was painting like an old artist, and I began to redirect my paintings, which later became part of me. I began to use vibrant colours, which are powerful to life, which portrayed a lot of things about me.

Why does he make use of recycled materials? The replied, “It changes my view that any material discarded can be used for other things. It improves the environment and when I collect the discarded materials, I leave them in my studio and over time, an idea comes on how I can make use of them. Although, the process is tedious but the end justifies the process.

Jess Castellote, a notable art critic, added, “For those of us who have followed him for more than a decade, his new works do not present themselves as a surprise or a rupture, but as an evolution and deepening of ideas and formal solutions. He is finding an aesthetic vocabulary and a formal language that allows him work with ideas and meanings in a much more forceful way.”
Onadipe graduated has taken part in numerous exhibitions in the United Kingdom, Ghana, and Nigeria, and is in important local and international collections.

Some of the works being exhibited include: The Ball Man, The Box Man and Boxed Man, The Crossroads, Moon Beneath, Comma, The Monocular, We Are Not the Same But the Same, Unanticipated Encounter, Listening Ear, Watchers, Embrace, Endangered Species, among others.


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