By Damiete Braide
To celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD), Female Artistes Association of Nigeria (FEAAN), in collaboration with Nike Arts Gallery, Lagos, on Saturday, March 6, 2021, celebrated women with an exhibition entitled “Choose to Challenge” with 47 artworks. The exhibition runs till March 12 at 2 Oba Yekini Elegushi Rd, Lekki Phase I, Lekki, Lagos.
Artistes who participated in the exhibition included Chinze Ojobo, Chinyere Ibenye, Okpoko Ogochukwu Jennifer, Awoh Mofunanya, Ubah Rita Chikamso, Chinyere Ibenye, Omon Sophia, Tabitha Odigili, RitaDoris Ubah, Jenny Onyinye Ojeh, Oyinye Ezennia, Ayoola Omovo, Ugonma Chibiuzo, Mireille Boale, Ogocukwu Ejiofor, Lara Boglo, Mayen Owodiong, and Chiadika Vincent-Otiono.
President, Female Artists Association of Nigeria (FEAAN), Chinze Ojobo, in her address of welcome, recalled IWD was first celebrated in 1911, and millions of people worldwide joined in celebrating this special day.
“It provides an important opportunity to reinforce commitment and action forging women’s equality, while celebrating women’s achievements. IWD sees the world step forward to support a campaign theme that unifies action in helping forge an inclusive world.
Ojobo noted, each year, organisers choose a new theme as a banner under which they can unify the direction of everyone’s efforts and help raise awareness, but this year’s campaign theme is #ChooseTo Challenge”.
“We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements and, each year, for the female artists, the conversation grows, activities escalate, action increases, inclusive mindsets prevail, and we get closer to an equal world,” she said, adding that female artistes chose to join in celebrating women all over the world by raising their hands to show their solidarity.
In the same vein, Mrs Chinyere Ibenye, Coordinator, Southwest Zone Female Artist Association, added, FEAAN, for the past few years, always come together as a body nationwide to celebrate the day with art exhibition, using the global theme to organise an exhibition that reflects the theme, and this year theme is ‘Choose To Challenge’.”
Ibenye said further, “as women, we joined the world to challenge the causes of insecurities, wars and kidnapping, especially here in our country, Nigeria. We choose to challenge inequality in gender issues, such as violence against women and girls, and bring a change.
“It is only when we, as people, collectively ‘Choose to Challenge’ situations that divide us that we will have love and harmony which will also bring unity among us, so that our country will move forward to delevop the way it is supposed to,” she concluded.
Tabitha Odigili said she chose to interpret the theme using a different media (raffia mat), because the paintings portray life as a river that carries us into our future whether or not we want to go. Some of the works exhibited include Survival, Image II and III, Osoo, Okilikili bu Ije-Agwo, Challenge I and II, Drenched in thoughts, Self Cleansing, Between the Waves, Dialogue Size, Coming to Stay (The Mask), In my Hands, Beauty of the People, Citizens of the World, Sunrise, Anthonia, Busy but Loved, The Future, Love and Harmony, United We Stand, Victory Day, Women Arise, No to rape, My Place, My Paradise, and Ma Soeur Asabe.