ÒRÉKE by Olasunkanmi Akomolehin, Detail, 2022. Courtesy of Affinity Art Gallery.
Affinity Art Gallery presents It’s All In Me, a group exhibition featuring nine emerging contemporary artists from Nigeria and the diaspora. The exhibition opening July 3, 2022, at Affinity Art Gallery, Lagos features paintings, photographs, and an installation from Adaeze Okaro, Akinola Taoheed, Derek Jayhem Jombo-Ogboi, Ebuka P. Agudiegwu, Nzubechukwu Ozoemena, Olasunkanmi Akomolehin, Oluwapelumi Oluyemi, Plantation (Ayomide Tejuoso) and Sophia Chioma.
This marks the first collaboration between Affinity Art Gallery and guest curator, Wunika Mukan, known for her work as the Director of Pacers Gallery, the Women’s Film Club, and as part of the core team responsible for Nigeria’s first and only country pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017. Wunika has made her mark as a cultural producer and in the art industry through work with the Lagos Photo Festival, Art Summit Nigeria, and the Sterling Bank Recyclart Competition. Her drive in championing and supporting artistic creativity by young Nigerians both locally and internationally made her a natural collaborator for the show.
Parallel with their fledgling practices, the artists depicts individuals in indeterminate situations, considering pivotal next steps with outcomes yet to be seen. Each with an ephemeral quality, the subjects exist in transitional spaces and places, mirroring in essence, the collective consciousness of the artists as they undergo a similar phase in their lives and careers. Though coming from similar shared experiences, the artists have managed to express themselves in a wide array of mediums, perspectives, and narratives, which draws further emphasis to the reality of shared experiences producing disparate outcomes.
These works evoke varying emotions and states of contemplation by capturing a phase of quiet reflection, of uncertainty, surging potential, and unbridled expectation. The subjects look to the future, their anticipation is apparent in their animated body language, or in subtle motionless poses. Agudiegwu’s subjects hang or cling in precarious balance, while pieces by Oluwapelumi, Derrick, Akintola, and Plantation show varied states of readiness or preparedness, their subjects in different states of dress or undress. In Okaro’s All That You Are, a young woman’s face is shrouded in shadows as she looks away with easy sensuality. Ozoemena’s works situate the viewer within the familiar surroundings of the catholic community drawing us in as witnesses to “intimate moments in one’s life that are simultaneously public affairs.” Olasunkami’s works search for meaning in physical beauty as well as in the beauty of connections and relationships. His subjects are depicted in various forms of repose coupled with an underlying intensity in their gaze. That same intensity is present in the work by Sophia shown in the exhibition.
It’s All In Me is a call to celebrate everything in us that is becoming. The artists invite us to see and reflect in these pieces, everything in us that longs and dreams and hope.