The Quirky Art Exhibit Experience –

The ‘106 Expressions’ art collection co-curated by Yellow Dot CEO Olubukola Bolarinde recently caused a stir with over 100 works of art on display to dozens of art lovers and collectors who gathered at the towers A&A, Eko Atlantic City, Lagos.

The A&A Tower, an unusual exhibition site, still under construction, was the completion of Bolarinde’s vision to merge two of his passions; art and architecture. According to her, she wanted people to appreciate both in their truest forms.

“I wanted to do something that no one had ever done before,” Bolarinde revealed. “There has never been an art exhibition held on a construction site nestled in a safe and clean environment with a rustic feel. I wanted to bring together these two worlds that represent who I am.

An architect trained at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (UCL), she began her first painting in 2020, amassing a total of 85 pieces that project the Nigerian people, cultures, values, landmarks and characters, including including a portrait of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi.

Bolarinde added: “I have a real passion for what I do, it consumes me and eats me away. Inspiration comes from everything I see; it comes from the culture, it comes from our people. You have seen the Ife culture; Yoruba culture, beautifully celebrated tonight. The Ooni of Ife is someone who supports everything I do because he knows that I stand up for the culture that is Nigeria.

The evening, graced by well-heeled guests including the artist’s parents, veteran statesman and leading industrialist, Samuel Olaniyi Bolarinde and his wife, Olufunke; Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ooni of Ife; Oba Saheed Elegushi; Alan Davies of James Cubitt Architects; Michael Ade-Ojo, Founder, Elizade Group of Companies; Nonso Okpala, Managing Director of VFD Group; Omasan Ogisi, Managing Director of Corporate Affairs, MTN Nigeria; Jide Olumodimu, Managing Director, Arkland Group; Abimbola Ogunkelu, former Minister of Health; Judith Audu and Omowunmi Dada who are Nollywood actors among others was one of many quirky events.

To help capture his vision, the event was split into sections. One part accommodated all 85 paintings aligned successively in a sinuous space.

The images represented different stories of traditions, history and humanities such as the Wusasa painting, an artistic tribute to the Christian community nestled in Zaria, Kaduna. Another artwork was a painting of the Ooni, while a portrait of the kerosene lantern titled “Atupa” reflected Bolarinde’s childhood memories.

Another part of the show featured 20 dresses that infused Bolarinde’s artistic insight thanks to the help of two creatives Vonnemac Couture and Isi Atagamen. All sets were presented by models on a makeshift runway flanked by guests. Every fabric in the show was made in Nigeria by Nigerians.

Praising his efforts to promote and raise awareness in the art and culture space, Oba Enitan, who graced the occasion, said, “Bolarinde is great to give back to society. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the arts and uses it to connect each of us. She has so much passion for so many things.

Yinka Paramole, who represented the curator of the exhibition, Nike Okundaye, also praised the artist. In her speech, she remarked that “the generous collection of artwork on display was created in a variety of mediums, primarily acrylics and oils on canvas. Applying layers upon layers of paint creates a mesmerizing texture infused with vibrant colors that are sure to keep audiences captivated.

Read also: ‘With the exhibition 106 Expressions, I am diversifying my art, breaking down conventional barriers’

The works, she concluded, were a stepping stone to greater heights for Bolarinde in the artistic community.

An art auction was also held with the first piece of art set at $10,000. In addition to this, the company professional with more than 20 years of experience acquired in sectors such as oil and gas, banking and telecommunications, confirmed that many works of art had already been purchased before the exhibition.

The evening was lit up by the thrilling rhythms of the cultural dance group that welcomed the guests. However, as the evening wore on, dancehall superstar Patoranking, Oritsefemi and Goya Menor delighted the audience with their performances as they enjoyed the evening’s refreshments.

Bolarinde also hinted at a follow-up art exhibition in Venice, Italy later this year.

Notable marks at the event included; Coca-Cola Nigeria with its premium spirits brand, Macallan, Schweppes Nigeria, Billecart Salmon Champagne and Artsplit, which were the preferred platform for the online auction.

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