By Demola Balogun
Art connoisseurs, researchers, collectors and business executives who converged at the Art Twenty One gallery, Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos last Saturday for the opening of celebrated sculptor and visual artist, Olu Amoda’s exhibition, had more than sensual silhouettes and figurative metal works to contend with.
Whether you are a savvy art professional, enthusiast or celebrity collector in the mould of Engr. Yemisi Shyllon, the latest presentation of Index Season II, a solo exhibition of Olu Amoda’s works holding from March 28 to June 25, 2017 raises contemporary issues affecting political and socio-economic development beyond our shores.
Through avalanche of metal structures and sculptures that incorporate rusty nails, discarded iron rods, bolts and stainless steels, Amoda welds together figures and abstracts in perfect harmony that drew the audience’s attention to jigsaw political puzzles and economic integration plaguing our world.
According to Olu Amoda, the choice of discarded materials was clear as an archaeological perspective of the natural objects, in direct contact with human beings, forms part of his investigation and research into the organic processes of our natural world.
Hear him: “I would not say my works are based on recycled materials. The materials are sourced from repurposed welded nuts, bolts, iron rods and scroll motifs to create visual elements depicting our world.
Index Season II presents the latest sculptures and figurative elements crafted over the past two years by art teacher, Olu Amoda as his third solo exhibition at Art Twenty One, an exquisite art gallery measuring 600sqm and a vision of Kally Chagoury, which is used for the promotion and development of contemporary art and art education programmes in Lagos.
According to the Sales & Marketing Manager, Eko Hotels & Suites, Mrs Iyadunni Gbadebo, the Art Twenty One Lagos was setup to be a center of excellence in art education and exposition of talents while contributing to a large growing art sale and audience, with a view to positioning the Lagos as a major player in the international art world and culture destination.
However, Olu Amoda’s Index Season II was presented to the audience on a luxurious, bubbly note with specialty Cuvee Moet & Chandon (brut) flowing amidst light banters and interview sessions by media executives, art collectors, culture activists and renowned artists including Bruce Onabrakpeya, Kolade Osinowo, and Jahman Anikulapo.
With imperial Moet’s bouquet and impressively long finish on the palate, the presentation of Amoda’s works echoed Moet’s champagne legendary ‘apple & pear flavours’ which harmonized with the artist’s focus on the female form captured in silhouettes and close-up perspectives of women bodies.
Amoda digs deeper beneath the surface and manifests in the figure of an Olympic medalist, Marion Jones, a world athletic champion, who was involved in a cheating scandal that reflects the universality of Index Season II. The macho frame and sculpted body of the disgraced American athlete took Amoda close to a decade to weave in intricate and complex metal fragments measuring 12 feet high and weighing over 1000kg, and flown in all the way from America for the pricey exhibition. Yet, Olu Amoda goes further to bunch leaves in a harmonious close knit web that captures the changing colours of the four seasons – namely Autumn, Spring, Winter and Summer, which as a collection represents humanity bonded by love, hope, peace and co-existence. This clearly demonstrates the artist’s belief and concern about the current political and economic crises threatening global peace and security.