Ooni of Ife, Oba Elegushi, others Grace Bolarinde Solo Art Exhibition
Inaugurated by a deluge of praise, the royal dignitaries joined other notable guests like the famous greatest private art collector Yemisi Shyllon; Founder of Elizade Group of Companies, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo; Managing Director James Cubitt Architects Alan Davies; Arkland Group CEO Jide Olumodimu, former Minister of Health Dr. Abimbola Ogunkelu; Managing Director General Affairs, MTN Nigeria, Omasan Ogisi; Nollywood actors Judith Audu and Omowunmi Dada, to see the more than 80 Bolarinde works on display. The parents of the artist, former statesman and leading industrialist, chef Samuel Bolarinde and his wife Olufunke were also present at the event.
Organized at the construction site of Arkland Construction, in Eko Atlantic City, the exhibition entitled “106 Expressions” which marked Bolarinde’s debut as a solo artist, was both cultural and artistic. Divided into sections, one part accommodated the more than 80 paintings aligned successively in a sinuous space.
The images represented different stories of traditions and humanities such as the Wusasa painting, an artistic tribute to the Christian community nestled in Zaria, Kaduna. Another work of art was a painting of the Ooni.
The other part of the show featured 20 dresses that infused Bolarinde’s artistic insight with the help of two creatives Vonnemac Couture and Isi Atagamen. All sets were presented by models on a makeshift runway flanked by guests. Every fabric in the show was made in Nigeria by Nigerians.
Commending his efforts to promote and raise awareness of the arts and cultural space, Oba Ogunwusi said:
“Bolarinde is great at giving back to society. She brings a wealth of knowledge in the arts and uses it to connect all of us. She has so much passion for so many things.”
Representing the prolific guardian of art and culture, Chief Nike Okundaye, curator of the exhibition, Yinka Paramole praised Bolarinde’s approach to his art.
“Bukola’s approach to his art is to use it to tell African stories. His point of reference usually shows the challenges and difficulties faced by Africans on a daily basis. Each piece on display today has a unique story to tell. .”
An architect trained at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (UCL), Bolarinde explained that his vision for the exhibition was to bring together his two passions, art and architecture in their most authentic form, hence his choice of location.
“I wanted to do something that no one had ever done before,” Bolarinde revealed. “There has never been an art exhibition held on a construction site nestled in a safe and clean environment with a rustic feel. I wanted to bring together these two worlds that represent who I am.”
An art auction was also held with the first piece of art set at $10,000. In addition to this, the company professional with more than 20 years of experience acquired in sectors such as oil and gas, banking and telecommunications, confirmed that many works of art had already been purchased before the exhibition.
The evening was lit up by the thrilling rhythms of the cultural dance group that welcomed the guests. However, as the evening wore on, dancehall superstar Patoranking, Oritsefemi and Goya Menor delighted the audience with their performances as they enjoyed the evening’s refreshments.
Bolarinde also hinted at a follow-up art exhibition in Venice, Italy later this year.
Notable brands present at the event included Coca-Cola Nigeria with its premium spirits brand, Macallan, Schweppes Nigeria, Billecart Salmon Champagne and Artsplit, which were the preferred platform for the online auction.