FIRST DAY OF CAMP
The African artist foundation AAF in collaboration with Nigerian Breweries company (NBC) holds an annual art competition with prize money for three finalists, as well as an exhibition of all works from the first selected group of finalists. Last year there were 30 finalists with moi included (though I didn’t win), it was a great experience.
Evbako was my entry for last year and I was really proud of my self after creating her. I wasn’t really sad about not winning but I was pleased with the fact that I realized that there was more I could do with paper than just cubes. It’s good to be expectant and want to win but I think the journey to a prize has more trophies on the way than we realize.
So now I’m on another journey to realize something new about myself and this gift God has given me. This year the AAF took a different approach, instead of submitting already created work, we got to submit a proposal on the work we want to create so no old works allowed sorry!!
This year’s theme is Documenting changes in Nation, and this was my proposal
DOCUMENTING CHANGES IN OUR NATION
The topic talks about the constant recording of many transformations and changes that occur in Nigeria, referring to the past the present and the future.
I have chosen to approach the topic from the perspective of the source of these changes not the events or the change itself but where it starts and ends, and the responsibility it falls on to document them; which are “people”, the Nigerian people.
I hope to interpret this theme with a paper sculpture of about 4 feet in height made up of several hands all interwoven and rising from the ground but gradually giving way for each other at the top. Each hand will hold a small window painted with a bright color and from that point, different colors flow out in lines from the windows, on the hands, to the ground.
Windows are symbolic for opportunity, a crossroad of choice and also act a communication point between two spaces. So having each hand holding one represents the change each Nigerian impacts on the nation either good or bad. And the colors stand for the effect of the choices we make, showing that an impact is always made great or small. There is need for people to realize that they make history in their own little way and therefore make every step in life a conscious one, as it is only in that conscious state that we will be able to document these changes effortlessly.
The only reason we have some form of history at all in Nigeria is because a few people cared enough to document certain events that happened in their time. There is too much ignorance among people as they do not realize their strength and power and undermine the abilities they have to contributing to the nation.
The responsibility of documenting changes doesn’t lie only with the press or the photographers or artists; it lies mostly with the people, in their different environments and cultures and thanks to technology it’s even much easier. Something as simple as a family portrait can give so much information about that particular time in history, fashion, architecture, and interior design are all interwoven inside one image. Documenting changes in our nation is every Nigerian’s responsibility.
12 finalists have been picked for a one weeks workshop (previously two weeks) at the Abraka Turf and country club, in Delta state. We arrived last night after a very long and tiring journey thanks to police wahala on the road, but thank God we are here.
Today is first day of camp; I was exhausted after the journey, and before the journey, lost my voice and my appetite, so work is the last thing on my mind.
Its absolutely beautiful here, just as we drove in we were welcomed by a stable of horses, full breed Argentinean horses as we told. Well fed and very strong, unlike the hungry ones that people ride in Lagos, absolutely beautiful.
Took a ride around in the evening and had a closer look at the horses.
Didn’t get much work done today, I was still exhausted over the journey and the lack of rest the nights before, so I had a good rest after lunch.
At last I gave a couple of hours to work on my sculpture. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have to get more work done.