By Jayne Augoye
Many art lovers had a memorable time when the 2019 edition of the African Artists Foundation (AAF) Maker Lab held in Lagos recently.
They particularly had fun viewing the works of a collective of young contemporary African Artists’ steering new narratives through diverse mediums.
The programme celebrated artists that included visual artist Ruby Okoro, documentary photographer, Neec Nonso, emerging singer and music producer, Yinka Bernie, and hyper-realistic painter, Amobi Abeeb Akin.
Their works generally exuded expressions of arts, music, and fashion in various forms.
The Maker Lab Exhibition is a signature event that has been pivotal in kick-starting and supporting the careers of several young artists since its inception.
Sponsored by Tiger beer, the event which was themed ‘Yanga’, celebrated and promoted young talented visual artists, by allowing them to display their craft, interact with other talents and build a fan base for their art.
The organisers explained that the event was borne out of a growing desire to provide a platform where alternative and creative artists can showcase their talents, network and celebrate the dynamism of the African sound.
The photographers definitely lived up to the theme of the show “Yanga” as they exhibited every bit of it through their unique pieces.
From fashion to abstract photography they helped art enthusiasts uncover their inner love for photography.
Visual artist, Ruby Okoro, expressed his emotions and the subconscious through conceptual and vibrant photography which he said is intrinsic to his practice.
He explained to guests present that he often shoots on the move, taking portraits in transit while documenting projections. The artist, who said he believes in minimalism, portrayed this conviction in his works especially those on display at the event.
Documentary photographer, Neec Nonso, on the other hand, said he captures everyday life and its nuances. Working predominantly in digital format, he revealed that he traveled extensively around Nigeria to capture beauty and diversity. He said the idea is to challenge stereotypical narratives about Nigeria and the African continent at large.
Yinka Bernie, who is an emerging singer and music producer, explored sound as a tool of social engagement using a sound cocoon, while Amobi Abeeb Akin who is a hyper-realistic painter created a wall installation, using white chalk on a black wall.
One of the high points of the event was the ‘Wearable Arts’ as it afforded guests the opportunity to physically showcase their artsy side, by applying vinyl prints on T-shirts and getting the glow in the dark face painting.
As the event drew to a close, the organisers noted that the initiative aims to function as space where young collectors and artists can grow in tandem.”