Art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
As the 4th Edition of Adorn Art Exhibition came to an end last weekend at the Freedom Park Art Gallery ,Broad Street on Lagos Island, Sunrisetimes.com.ng caught up with famous artist, painter and sculptor, Enifoghale Agodo fondly called ‘NIFTY’.
Agodo, a graduate of Media Communication, Roger Williams University, Rhode Island, Bristole, United State of America in this exclusive with our Lagos Bureau Chief, Adeyemi Robinson-Adefioye the Artist shared how she switched from being a Media practitioner to an Artist .
In a question and answer session, Nifty took us down memory lane through her sojourn into the world of Art.
Question- Before you turned Artist what were you doing ?
A- This particular exhibition started based on conversation I had with a group of friends about Philosophy and this Particular discussion was about ‘Adornment’ and definition of it and how broad it was. How do people interpret it, so we realized that it was more complicated conversation and we have the original result, so we decided to conduct a survey and see what people said.
In the close of our survey that we realized that the word is broad. It just inspired us to work on an exhibition to encapsulate different views, viewpoints and opinions also talk about the issues they talked about when they answer the questions .
Q- These Art work, are they based on present situation or what?
A-They were, like I said we have to talk to lots of people, we spoke to, approximately 132 people, you will think when you ask somebody what does an adornment means? they will say my heart, the shoes, the gold I am wearing or jewelleries, that is the answers that are expected. But kept getting answers like; oh my family, the person I love, my religion, myself , our eyes to realize that there were more to this question than what we originally think. To me Art is life, it is an interpretation of what is happening in life and we wanted to recreate the conversation in an exhibition space.
Q- Art is so amazing and how did you come about Art?
A- Family is a very creative family, most of them are not really Art anymore but they started as Artist. I have two uncles that are into sculptures in the basic sense of the world; one is actually a metal worker while the other is a sculptor. My uncle Ejiro is actually my Art influence, he’s an Artist, he draws and paints and I have another uncle who loves music, his voice is amazing, he could had made it as a musician,
I have a family that is creative in and out. Getting to know Art is not really a surprise because it is all expected because we are all Art incline, it was making it as a career that is a shock.
Art is supposed to stop in Secondary school but pushing forward and trying to make it a career is what is out if the judge norm. I am lucky because I have parents that support me, my parents are very practical, though I do a side business until I started making money with Art. I do media consulting, I studied Communication in University, I minor in Visual Art but my major is media communication, graphic design and marketing.
Q- Art is Communication as well ,a lot of people were looking forward to seeing you as a P.R practitioner, Producer, Presenter but all of a sudden you diverted into Art.
A-For me, Art is Communication, it is a communication of emotion, it’s a communication of intent because whatever anybody put down for others to see; you trying to influence other people’s opinion and thoughts.
With my Arts, that is what I am trying to do, everything that I have crafted is to create a link between whoever I am seeing next. Is like I want you to see this part of me, every single piece I have exhibited was as a result of things that have happened in my life. It is my life story, is like when two people sit to have conversation by trying to make a connection and have an understanding.
To me that is how Arts is; I am having an understanding with people, there are certain people who will I don’t like the piece of this Art because they’ve seen something else deeply and there are other person’s that see what other people saw and they say this is me, I can see myself in the art.
Art is like a mirror that changes, it reflects whatever you feel about yourself, whatever emotion you have inside you.
An Artist who is depressed create depressed Art, so anybody who is sad or anxious or feeling alone goes into gallery and sees that arts will connect to it because they are feeling the emotion the Artist is putting out. The same way, if you are happy, you will find Arts that makes you happy. Art is truly a life because when you go into a person’s home and see the paint, tells you more about that home than they would ever be able to say. if you see bright Colour, or bold colour , you will know that is a happy home, if you see good colour, if you see blue colour it has meaning, the same thing I do. Colour phycology is strong part of my work because I need to communicate the emotion, is not just presenting an accurate face or a beautiful painting, it has to say something.
To me the piece of art that has failed is an art that has communicated nothing.
Q – Let’s use the situation in Nigeria as an example. I was expecting more of this as we are fast approaching 2023 elections.
A- To be honest, I think Nigeria’s problem is re-circling, it is happening over and over, every election year. The Police brutality has been for years, sexual harassment has been for years, corruption has been for years .They are not new systems they are not new situations, we are just recycling the problem every four years. It is extremely painful for me to tape into side of myself and paint such thing, I have those thesis but these are the thesis I want to show people and people could let go off. These pieces are for me, these pieces are me, expressing my feeling about Nigeria, these pieces are me crying for my country, these pieces are not for the masses but they are made personal for me.
I know this is a political statement on this is how I feel and this is what you should see but for me, maybe I think this is the feeling that us unresolved. If I am not in Nigeria i don’t feel it a lot but if I come back, I am frustrated by it. I have unresolved love for this country.
Q- What about the END SARS Art work? Agitation of the Youths, why is it not a among the Art works ?
A- This particular exhibition is not Political movement , quite frankly End SARS Movement is every sensitive topic for me because my house is down the road. I was getting read and I wore my trouser and shoe for my friends to pick me up to go down to Lekki toll-gate and what we heard was the fireworks, gunshots. It is part of the pains, I am talking about when I think about my country Nigeria.
I think how can your government do that to you, when you are advocating for change you don’t one does not expect to be killed for it. It is not a change that will benefit one individual, it is a change that will benefit everyone, our children, our children’s children ten years in the future. What exactly is happening?
I can’t really figure out by of what benefit that they are sending Solders to kill, is it a way to oppress?
Q- These Art work, one can see, emotion, love, adoration, pain just to mention but a few….. Why these?
A-These are things we should focus on, we should focus on the families, focus on ourselves, we should focus on what we are trying to achieve for ourselves, family etc….
There are discussion on vulnerability and intimacy. This is more an expression of what than a movement, this expression is introspective, is philosophical, is the way to make you think, it’s slow moving instead of fast.
Q- Tell us your experience , your first second and third experience.
A- My first experience was here at Freedom Part, I came to see Mr Theo Lawson who is the Director of Freedom Park, I came to show him that this is what I am doing and trying to make it a career and looked through my work and he said he has an opinion i would like to meet with the curator just and if both of us agree, then I went to meet her.
Her name to is Funmi, she sat and look at my work and she said when did I want to do the exhibition, I was like laughing. She gave me a date that was how I got my first exhibition. The whole process was so very emotional because I have never done this before. i did it and it was successful, I met some veterans in this profession who loved my job. That was mind blowing to me.