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Feature Columns

Wednesday, 18 July 2018 20:32 Francis Odupute and Bernedeth Idalu Columns
On Saturday, 12th of May, 2018, five 400-level female students of the Department of Fine and Applied Arts (Painting Section), University of Benin (UNIBEN), Benin City, Edo State of Nigeria, took their male counterparts by storm with a strategic and audacious art exhibition tagged “THERE SHE IS”, which held in Benin City. Every one of these female painting students had something particular to say to the whole world through their creative ‘artivism’ in hues. Hear them out:

Ofulue Nkem Precious is team leader of this audacious 5-woman team of green horns in contemporary African visual arts who made strong statements on the gender agenda through colourful pictorial storytelling. She spoke to journalists during a press preview of the exhibition at Fontini Cristi Art Gallery in Benin City, Nigeria, venue of the enthusing exhibition: “It’s very needful to hold exhibitions. In line with this, we decided to come together to speak in one voice what we face in the society, to speak through and for the girl child what we see in the society and the challenges. Seeing my colleagues’ interest and their willingness to also be part of this - to work towards speaking the unspoken - we came together and we decided it will be a good way to kick off into the art world through the exhibition, first and foremost portraying the female gender. That’s how we got here.”

Wednesday, 18 July 2018 19:52 Francis Odupute Columns
The second edition of “Traces of Time”, a group art exhibition and platform that promotes up-coming visual artists alongside more established artists cum art masters opened penultimate weekend at the Crowne Art Gallery in Benin City, with eminent personalities calling for proper promotion and appreciation of the cultural heritage of the Benin people.

Benin musical maestro and master sculptor, Professor (Sir) Victor Uwaifo, in an interview with newsmen at the exhibition lectured that “…this is the second edition, “Traces of Time”, and it’s really traces of time because the works speak for themselves. Some of the works are very special because there is a combination of the past and the present, synchronized to give a kind of artistic appeal. The aesthetics –very unique; and the paintings, too, different approaches in oil on canvass; but the most important thing I discovered is the originality, they’re not copying from anybody; you know, it comes out from the artist, the artist is in touch with his second being…it’s also in music, too. You must have an image in mind or a concept; you now bring it to life, give it breathe and then a spirit; if care is not taken you give it a soul. That’s why when you hear a piece of music, it hits you…nobody has touched you but there is that connection between the work of art itself and the viewer.

Friday, 06 September 2013 00:00 Francis Odupute Columns
What happens when too many people occupy the same space? Who do you become when your own space is being invaded? By “space” I am not talking about your office space, or your market space, or your bedroom space. I am referring to that space over which you have control; I am referring to your identity (which includes your thoughts, language, values, feelings, emotions, actions, personality, etc). My space is me - my very person. Not just my tangible body but the person of me that lives and interacts with others.

Life is about relationships – interpersonal relationships, marriage relationships, bilateral relationships, socio-cultural relationships, business relationships, etc. From person to person, community to community, tribe to tribe, nation to nation and race to race, our individual identities/spaces, physiological and cultural differences, etc, are integral unifying and aesthetic components that drive our human relationships and make the world a beautiful, dynamic and interesting place to be - united and sustained in originality, variety and diversity.

In any relationship it is universally a natural instinct to think of my space, your space, and the space which we all share - our space.