The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and Oba Saheed Elegushi, were some of the esteemed personalities that graced the solo art exhibition of contemporary artist and architect, Olubukola Bolarinde.
Ushered in with a deluge of praises, the royal dignitaries joined other notable guests such as private art collector, Yemisi Shyllon; founder of Elizade Group of Companies, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo; Managing Director of James Cubitt Architects, Alan Davies; Managing Director, Arkland Group, Jide Olumodimu; a former Minister of Health, Dr Abimbola Ogunkelu; General Manager Corporate Affairs, MTN Nigeria, Omasan Ogisi; actors, Judith Audu and Omowunmi Dada, to view the over 80 works of Bolarinde on display. The artist’s parents— elder statesman and industrialist, Chief Samuel Bolarinde, and his wife, Olufunke, were also present at the event.
Staged at the construction site of Arkland Construction in Eko Atlantic City, Lagos, the exhibition tagged 106 Expressions marked Bolarinde’s debut as a solo artist, and was in equal parts a celebration of arts and culture.
Split into sections, one part accommodated the over 80 paintings. The images depicted different stories of traditions and humanities such as the Wusasa painting, which is an artistic tribute to the Christian community nestled in Zaria, Kaduna State. Another artwork was a painting of the Ooni.
The other part of the show showcased 20 dresses that infused Bolarinde’s artistic insight through the help of two ‘creatives’, Vonnemac Couture and Isi Atagamen. All ensembles, which were made by Nigerians, were showcased by models on a makeshift runway flanked by guests.
Commending Bolarinde’s efforts in drawing awareness to arts and culture, Oba Ogunwusi said, “Bolarinde is formidable in giving back to society. She brings a wealth of knowledge in the arts and uses that to connect everyone. She is passionate about many things.”
Representing the prolific art and culture custodian, Chief Nike Okundaye, the curator of the exhibition, Yinka Paramole, lauded Bolarinde’s approach towards her art.
Bolarinde, who was trained as an architect at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, explained that her vision for the exhibition was to bring her two passions— art and architecture— in their truest forms, thus, her choice of venue.
She said, “I wanted to do something that nobody had ever done before. I am not aware of any art exhibition that has been staged on a construction site nestled in a safe, clean environment, with a rustic feel to it. I wanted to bring those two worlds together that represent who I am.”
Though an art auction was held at the event, with the first art piece set at $10,000, Bolarinde noted that many of the pieces had already been purchased before the exhibition.