Rele Gallery, on Sunday, opened doors to an exciting evening of multi-dimensional stories. Her Story Exhibition brought together five female artists answering to the pledge for continuous change. It serves as an expression of diverse stories to create awareness and also propagate conversations. Each artist brought to canvas a unique expression of their stories through the eyes of a woman. Going further than just story-telling, the exhibition sought for a celebration of feminine virtues; the quiet strength in survival and sheer joy from the victory of conquering.
Her story exhibition lent voices from Oluchi Chuks Zom, Queen Nwaneri, Buki M. Animashaun, Ayobola Kekere-Ekun and Haneefah Adam. We were also delighted to present a special feature by Ngozi Schommers.
On Acrylic and canvas, Queen Nwaneri brought to light a statement so bold. One made for the girl child and her right to being treated as a human. She makes a case for such humanity, in her works I can be; I can think; I am a woman. It is her belief that every girl-child should be given equal opportunities in regards to marriage, education, career and even her right to decisions. She interacts with the viewers, requests for them to make it a duty to not just converse but work towards a change they deserve.
Moving through another line of making a statement is Ayobola Kekere-Ekun with the Cultural Dysmorphia series that has boldly represented her navigation around the patriarchal spaces in Nigeria. Her women are sheathed, almost invisible, not to be seen or heard from. She speaks of the “eyes-wide shut” attitude most individuals have towards a problem so glaring. In her series, we also find the expectations placed on the shoulder of a woman, to not speak up because she is required to listen, and listen only.
Black Hearted series also stands boldly in its space. Buki M. Animashaun paints her way to liberation from labels, from her story as a black woman written just in technicality. To be judged of as one thing is pain and her expression of this shows in the lurid colours observed on canvas. Haneefah Adam makes her debut in this exhibition with a female subject and a journey through time. In the beginning, we find her encrusted, searching and still in a process of discovery. From there on is her blooming and freedom; she is observed unravelling from boundaries and giving way for the woman beneath.
In her ethereal photographs, we see several intriguing elements come to play. The colours radiant of feminine energy, Oluchi Chuks Zọm photographed an exciting visual representation of the long historical connection between nature and femininity. They both have something in common which is beauty; beauty so admirable and true.
In this fusion, several multiplicities have been expressed and encountered. It was an evening lighted up with the energy of the visitors, drinks from Cointreau, and appreciation from art-lovers.
Her Story Exhibition is open till the 24th of March, 2017. It will be our pleasure to have you come and share in these stories.