An artist reflects his memories of Nigeria and events in the country within the first 50 years of independence
By TEMITOPE ADEOGUN
Toni Anthony Ogunde is a painter, designer, mixed media specialist and lecturer in the Arts Department of the Yaba College of Technology who recently had an exhibition of drawing, paintings and other expressive media, which he called Glimpses@50. The exhibition examines events in Nigeria for the first 50 years of the nation’s existence through the eyes of an artist.
Ogunde said his recent works reflect his memories of Nigeria through historical, documentary, educative, cultural and aesthetic values that can survive generations. He added that his inspiration is natural and it started in 1987 during his National Youth Service in Plateau State. So far, he has organised 46 exhibitions.
Ogunde who is always creative in his works, makes use of locally made objects like jute, bottle covers, cutting comb (ilari) and so on. His experimentation on mixed media started 20 years ago and since then, his works have remained as always unique both in materials and colour rendition and application.
The artist says his favourite painting is titled, Mega City, a 3x4 feet size done in mixed media with skyscrapper structures of Lagos City. “The uniqueness of the work is that the buildings are established with ilari with different line of colour application,” he said.
“I do whatever that is creative and I know within me that it is right. Art nourishes the root of our culture and the society must try to set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do,” he added.