Culture journalist Evelyn Osagie has added another feather to her creative cap. She will be making her debut as an artist this Saturday at a group exhibition by GreenHouse Empowerment Centre in Olambe, Ogun State.
The exhibition, which is led by Prof Bruce Onobrakpeya, will also feature works of 12 celebrated artists, such as Sam Ovraiti, Princess Theresa Iyase-Odozi, Dr. Mabel Oluremi Awogbade, Ato Arinze, Stella Awoh, K.K.Olojo, Juliet Ezenwa Pearce, Bolaji Ogunwo, Stella Ubigho and Oke Ibem Oke. The two-month exhibition will be opening on September 12 at the prestigious Princess Theresa Iyase-Odozi’s GreenHouse Art Empowerment Centre, Olambe, Ogun State.
From being one of the fresh voices promoting artistic collectives and their crafts through her insightful pieces, Osagie, who is also a performance poet, has joined the league of those documenting Nigeria’s rich cultural and artistic heritage through photography.
Inspired by two renowned female artists, Lauren Greenfield and Elisa Paloschi, Osagie brings her experiences covering the arts/culture sector to bear in her photography.
In line with the exhibition’s theme, Nigerian Visual Artists and Politics, Osagie will be showcasing a body of work, featuring nine pieces in coloured and monochrome in varying sizes. Her displays spotlight issues such as politics, tourism, culture/art, artistic and religious expressions, hope, peace and unity, among others.
Her body of work explores the interaction between people, their art, their environment and their attendant power-play. The pieces, spanning eight years of her journalist career, feature images showcasing places like Idanre and Osogbo; artists/poets like Prof Wole Soyinka, Odia Ofiemun, Chief Muraina Oyelami of Iragbiji, the late Suzanne Wenger; religion; children, and 2011 and 2015 elections.
Osagie’s choice of subject arises from the desire to share in the stories that unfold around her. She says she sees photograph as an artistic self-expression of reality; thus, she uses her camera to unearth and explore the world around her.
She says: “I have always imagined photograph as unspoken MEMORY garnished with experience. Whether it is a walk down a hill with a friend, the serene town resting in between mountains or the embrace of two iconic poets, each image is a memory of diverse tales in man’s existence.
“Capturing these unspoken scenes in a flash is what excites me as a journalist and artist. The most exciting of all, which I consider beautiful, is that each of those moment s are kept alive in photographs.”
Born in Lagos, Osagie’s foray into photography dates back to her undergraduate days at the University of Benin, where she engaged in poetry performances, creative writing and other artistic endeavours. As a student, this graduate of English and Literature became interested in landscape and wildlife, while visiting relations, and other universities, canvassing for a joint-undergraduate writers’ association.
Osagie is an award winning journalist currently a Senior Correspondent with The Nation Newspaper in Lagos. Her reportorial engagements have also touched a plethora of issues bordering on cultural advocacy; women and child rights; civil rights; mental health; and a host of others.
On the advocacy front, she has been deeply engaged in campaigns, seminars, workshops and other commitments aimed at fostering better policies in rights protection for many Non-Governmental (NGOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
(Photo: Harmony, 2011 by Evelyn Osagie)