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Sunday, December 18, 2011


Home and Out Again!!

One week at the abraka turf has ended and I returned home to finish what I started, quite a short time for me to finish the work I want to create. In the midst of preparing for my trip to Japan for a residency program in the week to come, I had to finish and submit my entry before I left, which meant I would miss the show opening(sad).

The use of colours on my paper work is a new addition which I had tried on two dimensional surfaces, this would be the first application on a 3 dimensional piece; I think it came out ok but it could be better or maybe there could be other ways to apply the colours. But I think I’m quite content with the result to start with.
I really wish the work was bigger(this has nothing to do with the prize!!!), as the size I had in mind had to be altered because of movements from the workshop in Delta state and back to Lagos again, didn’t want any trouble with moving the work back and forth, the paper sculptures, are somewhat fragile.
The exhibition finale took place at the Civic center on Thursday the 15th of December, and I didn’t win(again, too bad) but I am glad I have one more paper sculpture to my credit and one more exhibition to my CV, great! Congrats to the winners, though next time, I'll make sure I create a piece as large as the building( what's with judges and large works??!!!) On the contrary I'll do the opposite.


                   I also got good comments on my work (not from these people exactly, they seem to be staring at something else) and I’m glad people appreciate what I do.

Yokohama is up next, tune in next time, for more exciting photos, food and art pieces from the island of JAPAN!!Yipeeeeeee!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


FIRST DAY OF CAMP

The African artist foundation AAF in collaboration with Nigerian Breweries company (NBC) holds an annual art competition with prize money for three finalists, as well as an exhibition of all works from the first selected group of finalists. Last year there were 30 finalists with moi included (though I didn’t win), it was a great experience. 
Evbako was my entry for last year and I was really proud of my self after creating her. I wasn’t really sad about not winning but I was pleased with the fact that I realized that there was more I could do with paper than just cubes. It’s good to be expectant and want to win but I think the journey to a prize has more trophies on the way than we realize.

So now I’m on another journey to realize something new about myself and this gift God has given me. This year the AAF took a different approach, instead of submitting already created work, we got to submit a proposal on the work we want to create so no old works allowed sorry!!

This year’s theme is Documenting changes in Nation, and this was my proposal

DOCUMENTING CHANGES IN OUR NATION

The topic talks about the constant recording of many transformations and changes that occur in Nigeria, referring to the past the present and the future.
I have chosen to approach the topic from the perspective of the source of these changes not the events or the change itself but where it starts and ends, and the responsibility it falls on to document them; which are “people”, the Nigerian people.
I hope to interpret this theme with a paper sculpture of about 4 feet in height made up of several hands all interwoven and rising from the ground but gradually giving way for each other at the top. Each hand will hold a small window painted with a bright color and from that point, different colors flow out in lines from the windows, on the hands, to the ground.
Windows are symbolic for opportunity, a crossroad of choice and also act a communication point between two spaces. So having each hand holding one represents the change each Nigerian impacts on the nation either good or bad. And the colors stand for the effect of the choices we make, showing that an impact is always made great or small. There is need for people to realize that they make history in their own little way and therefore make every step in life a conscious one, as it is only in that conscious state that we will be able to document these changes effortlessly.
The only reason we have some form of history at all in Nigeria is because a few people cared enough to document certain events that happened in their time. There is too much ignorance among people as they do not realize their strength and power and undermine the abilities they have to contributing to the nation.
The responsibility of documenting changes doesn’t lie only with the press or the photographers or artists; it lies mostly with the people, in their different environments and cultures and thanks to technology it’s even much easier. Something as simple as a family portrait can give so much information about that particular time in history, fashion, architecture, and interior design are all interwoven inside one image. Documenting changes in our nation is every Nigerian’s responsibility.

Taiye IDAHOR
Artist


12 finalists have been picked for a one weeks workshop (previously two weeks) at the Abraka Turf and country club, in Delta state. We arrived last night after a very long and tiring journey thanks to police wahala on the road, but thank God we are here.

Today is first day of camp; I was exhausted after the journey, and before the journey, lost my voice and my appetite, so work is the last thing on my mind.
Its absolutely beautiful here, just as we drove in we were welcomed by a stable of horses, full breed Argentinean horses as we told. Well fed and very strong, unlike the hungry ones that people ride in Lagos, absolutely beautiful.







Took a ride around in the evening and had a closer look at the horses.

Didn’t get much work done today, I was still exhausted over the journey and the lack of rest the nights before, so I had a good rest after lunch.
At last I gave a couple of hours to work on my sculpture. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have to get more work done.











Monday, September 19, 2011

Back to Clay!




For some time now I’ve been experimenting with other materials outside the usual.  The usual being cement, fiber glass and metal, but recently I had to go back to clay modeling cos I was contracted to create a 5 feet fibre glass sculpture.
I'm very excited about the project cos this would be my first public space monument and I am glad to be modeling clay again after a long time.
I started by creating a model, I think it’s important the client can visualize the final piece not just with sketches and words.
Out of several sketches, this was the chosen one. 

       


          

                                                       
Above are images of the model from the wire armature to the clay work. And below is the piece in fibre glass.



It measures about 13 inches in height. After the presentation, the client of course made slight changes which reflected on the final piece.
Work begins, now that the model has been approved! Look out for the final piece and how the project progressed.









Friday, July 1, 2011

Where it Started!

I have been talking about the change of name series for a while, so I thought it best to show where the project started from. It started in the last quarter of 2010 and it started with me trying to make a self portrait of the state I was at the point and this was the first of the project;

change of name 01
                                                          
And the rest follows


 
change of name 02
 
change of name 03  































 
change of name 05  

































 
change of name 04
change of name 06


These are all 2x 2 feet in size cos they are actually experiments, trying to find ways to use and combine my materials. 01 is my favourite and very dear and personal and I won't say which is my least best but more are on the way and from my last post the second large piece is already in progress so stay tuned to the blog and watch how it progresses.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Work In Progress>>>

My second 4x4 feet work is on the way, began this morning. I'm actually blowing up this piece, the first experiment from the change of name series but already I doubt very much its gonna look the same which I think is a good thing. So I started with applying a white paint surface then moved on to building the portrait with newspaper.

Sorting the news paper takes a while, because each newspaper has its own unique properties, my favorites are guardian and 234next but more especially Guardian because its soft so once its soaked I can work almost immediately and it also retains its colors and doesn't darken like punch. Punch is not my best cos its hard and it takes time to soak in glue, but its strong so I use it as the base of every piece that involves paper. Understanding their individual properties is very important cos it helps how I work.

Sorting also involves reading so I'm go through each paper browsing through each article, cutting out interesting events I need to record, for example I found one on Suzanne Wenger and Oshogbo art today, I never knew she had adopted children about 16 of them. I also enjoy cutting out recipes, I love that part. Will probably put up one or two. I cut out text and faces as well which I'm gathering for a sketch I did about 2 years ago(Its way past due).

White emulsion is a must have in my studio and I'm out, but this will do to finish up this piece. Stay tuned for the next stage of work.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

First 4x4 feet piece from the "change of name" series

Finished at last. Actually did a couple weeks back. Women form a major percentage of traffic for consumer products and if it isnt aimed at a woman, the woman becomes the means to get the male audience. 80% of products bought by women are out of continous media repetition that forms a beautiful, temporary veil on their faces that lures one into the act of "purchasing"!

Monday, May 23, 2011

NEW WORK, yum!

This is my most recent piece still work in progress as you can see. Had done smaller pieces of 2x2 feet but I'm convinced enough to blow them up now. This is 4x 4 feet.

When i sat back to take a look at the work pretending I'm the audience ( very hard to do ) the first thing that came to my mind was " all that glitters is not gold" a popular saying that speaks of deceit. The photographic film canisters (opened and flattened out) are all bright and shiny so can't help but catch your fancy, like the works of Shonibare and Warhol.


My change of name series addresses materialism and attraction to all that's beatiful but there's the pain that comes with getting it. I would give a better explanation when the work is complete, at least this first piece, cos i look forward to creating up to ten of this series God helping me, my job is taking most of my time but not all so I will get them done. See you at completion.

Monday, May 9, 2011

WELCOME TO MY WORLD


This is a "cubic" continuation of the the paper cubes but this time made from one of the objects I collect. Since i started collecting paper i decided to collect other things that are available in large in numbers at enough to build something with. from a younger age I always had issues throwing stuff away i felt it could be reused instead of throwing them away and end up someplace without being recycled. Till today I'm conscious about whatever i buy so i don't accumulate stuff at home and create less waste to the already filthy environment. Thank God Lagos is changing. 

Waste is created everywhere and all the time and nobody cares about the consequences of buying something as little as a ball point pen or biro as we call it. 
Lagos is ever changing with an ever changing culture caused by the modern society it’s enveloped in through heavy influence from the media and at great speed imbibing its ways.
My new work/ series aims to challenge and questions the notions and reasons for this change but especially pointing a finger directly at the materialistic culture it has acquired and the ignorance of its consequences.
This work was created for a group show titled the " The Green summary" It was organized by the center for contemporary art Lagos. It held to celebrate the organization's anniversary as well as the country's. We had a color restriction to green.


 The welcome to my world installation deals on individual space and limits we have as human beings and especially those created  by the society and the system we run as a nation. People have different limits some more than others and others little to none, we are surrounded by an invisible wall that exist in our minds its as though everything is within reach because of what we watch on television and all we hear about the industrialized society. The round plastics are gotten from CD rolls and of course an imported product, are a metaphor for the deceit we receive from foriegn media of how life is greener on their side creating the migration of a large number of people from Africa abroad in search of this space without borders or walls, to create a territory with out limits.


The exhibition featured the works of Ndidi Dike, Emeka Ogboh, Jude Anogwih, Richardson Oviebo, Taiye Idahor, Uchay Chima Joel, Victoria Udondian, Karo Akpofiere and Jelili Atiku.

Evbako

I created Evbako in 2009 its about 3ft, a bust sculpture of a woman, my portrait of Nigeria, with eyes and mouths on her neck and shoulder creating a sort of discomfort. People outside Nigeria say so many things about life here and a lot exaggerated, creating this uneasy feeling about being Nigerian. Yes we do have our problems and so does every other country, and as a young Nigerian its takes hope and faith to get by. I'm amazed at the speed I used to create this work and I'm searching for it again,it took me just 3 weeks laying layers of paper over layers.  i put it in for an competition organized by the African artist foundation titled "Nigeria at 50". It didn't win but made the 30 finalists, an exhibition and I got a great response of which I still do even though its no longer in my possession ( with regrets).  I'm working on a second one at the moment, its really taking a lot of time, I think I'm stuck in the form some where but I'll pull through and I doubt its ever going to leave my studio cos I love it already.
What I love most about the work is her hair, that was the best part in creating it. People don't do weaves much these days, even though its hidden underneath the weave on and Brazilian hair ( that thing is so expensive, i cant believe women pay so much for hair). I'm blessed with beautiful hair and daily I'm reminded by people on the bus, in the streets, shops, some in a nice way and some who give you a head massage straight away without asking if I'm interested. Taking up a project with hair seems a very interesting path to take and may lead to different directions. Just started my Afro series, pictures will be up as soon as i get my camera working again.

And if anyone's asking the meaning of that name, the sculpture title, it actually doesnt make sense from what my mother says. My mom is a typical and thick benin woman, and I remember calling her up just before I sent my entry for the competion cos I love culture and I had decided to name any sculpture I make with a benin name I guess to make up for my not being able to speak my language fluently (sad). Months later after the work was made and even sold, we got talking can't remember what about but then the name came up, and she looked at me strangely as though I spoke gibberish. Then i realised that the 40 mins I spent on the phone that afternoon I called to get a name that fitted my sculpture was a total waste of time. But there's a lesson here, my children must and must speak a local dialect very very fluently.

CUBES

My cubes are a huge inspiration for my recent works. The project started sometime in February of 2010 and they are the very first work from my artist career, I am very proud of them. 
My sister had this tall pile of newspaper and I had also collected a much taller pile about 9 feet of piled up paper from a friend. his dad had been keeping them for so long and refused to give them up (old people, my dad does exactly the same, still trying to convince him to let go of some old large glass bottles). 

As a broke young lady with tools and paper, I got building at least I could afford glue. A total of 8 cubes were made and it was and still is an interesting piece that speaks on life in Lagos where everyone lives to chance and probability, a game of chance, whatever life hands to you, you make do of it and adjust. Its hard to plan in this part of the world or rather its discouraging because the system we have is quite volatile and very unstable. Its hard to project the future even though you have it all written on paper but then not impossible it takes hard work and the grace God. 
I'm trying to re create the installation again, the initial cubes are weak and old now but then it only adds element to my point, many ideas all gone old and not achieved, forgotten dreams.
Creating the cubes takes a lot time especially the drying time, plus I am very slow in work cos I can be quite meticulous. Two cubes are ready and I'm aiming at 12. And hopefully create another life size image.