The Kokopelli Gallery will open in the Lekki area of Lagos this weekend with an exhibition titled A Roomful of Stories, featuring works by 15 Nigerian contemporary artists.
Visitors to the exhibition will be treated to various art forms — drawing, painting, sculpture and digital art – as curated by Kennii Ekundayo, an independent art curator based in Lagos.
These exhibiting artists include: Ademuyiwa Ladega, Akintomide Aluko, Bolaji Ogunwo, Damola Adepoju, David Joseph, Donna Duke, Dotun Makun, Funke Oladimeji, Greg Onyeka, Ibrahim Bamidele, Kelly Omodamwen, Kel Savage, Olajide Salako, Osifeso Ezekiel, Suraj Adekola.
“The assembled exhibits are recounts that revolve around evocative subjects such as the lot of child brides as seen in the Betrothal series by Aluko and Oladimeji’s portrait of the forgotten seen in Ashabi, her sole memento of a deceased ally,”according to a statement sent to KalmaAfrik.
“Omodamwen’s Ovbialeke, Salako’s Dambe series and Savage’s Hall of Masks chronicle the artists’ keen like mindedness to valorise their native heritage while Adepoju in his piece, For How Long? satirises the political gambits that have derided the education sector of the country through his reflection on the plight of the schoolgirl, Oreoluwa.
Kokopelli Gallery is the brainchild of artist Dare Herald, who is driven by a vision to reflect the intangible essence of storytelling.
“Every artwork mounted within The Kokopelli Gallery walls shall be imbued with narrative elements enough to encourage the creative imagination of the onlooker,” he says ahead of the exhibition opening on Sunday 12 September (closes 16 October).
The gallery’s management says that visitors to the exhibition should expect a satisfying portrayal of “the rhythmic, colourful patterns of mask-like motifs represented in various colour schemes in the Faces and Phases series by Onyeka”. They could also try “to decipher the third-person narrative form of Ogunwo whose works share a common identifier — thickly layered vibrant paint strokes.”
In hosting the exhibition, Kokopelli Gallery says it intends to show the arts world that the visual arts can and should be seen as an independent form of storytelling “as seen in the case of oral, written and digital mediums.”
It argues that the visual arts are an age-long and independent medium of storytelling seeing its use of elements and techniques commonly applied in the other forms.
Amongst other things, Kokopelli Gallery has been designed to focus on presenting a new approach to contemporary art and exhibitions by conveying its position as a centre for storytelling through visual arts.
Ekundayo, head curator at Galeri ODUMIJE, began her practice in March 2017 with focus modern and contemporary African art. She’s curated exhibitions in Nigeria and internationally; highlights from her career include curating the works of two of Nigeria’s legendary creatives, Bruce Onobrakpeya and Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka.