By Japhet Davidson
ONE of the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic ravaging the world is the holding of exhibitions in unconventional places. And one of the exhibitions that caught the attention of many art lovers was a solo exhibition by Toluwalope Ajayi, a visual artist and a theatre production designer, held at Adna Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos on December 19.
The one-day exhibition tagged “A Cast in Stones: The Renaissance” which featured 30 works, was unique in the sense that it showcased 20 stone artworks, 9 acrylic paintings and one oil painting. A critical look at the great and amazing works reveals the creative ingenuity of the young artist as seen in the way she romances with stones. The works speak about some of the things happening in the country.
According to the mixed media artist who experiments with different materials ranging from fabric to paper, beads, broken CDs and even stones, her recent experiment and discovery of the ability to paint with stones gave birth to a new art movement called STONISM which she pioneers.
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The University of Lagos graduate who also does paintings, drawings, collage and quilling through her body of works portrays the happenings in her immediate environment, the Nigerian society and the world.
Speaking on the topic, Tolu disclosed that she chose it because it best describes the concept of the Stonism Art Movement which involves creating images using stones.
“I was inspired by the natural feel and beauty of the stones as I am one who loves to create something out of the most minute things,” he said.
Speaking further, she said that the phrase, Cast In Stones, traditionally connotes a form or structure established by a school of thought that opposes the concept of amendment or alteration.
“Socio-politically,” she said, “this mirrors the UNAMENDABLE necromancy of godfatherism; hand-picking loyalists for ulterior motives of ‘over-stretched’ incumbency.
“However, the Renaissance strikes and threatens a paradigm shift…one that screams unity, heritage and reformation. Tightly fisted, the RENAISSANCE advocates an end to the aberrations that have been CAST IN STONES!”
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Tolu, who stated that the works of Dr. Bolaji Ogunwo, Mr. Abiodun Olaku, Mr. Sam Ovraiti and Mr. Diseye Tantua inspired her, said with her art, she aims to encourage other young artists to explore, maximize their potential and make a difference in the world of art.
Toluwalope Ajayi is a visual artist and a theatre production designer. She is a graduate of Creative Arts, the University of Lagos, where she studied painting (2013/2014).
She also holds a Master’s degree in theatre arts, from the University of Ibadan (2018/2019) and has produced a short film titled “Christmas Box”.
She participated in the University of Lagos Art Entrepreneurship Workshop 2011, sponsored by the Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation(OYASAF) and also had her industrial training at the Universal Studios of Art (U.S.A.), Iganmu, Lagos State, under the tutelage of renowned Nigerian artists like Mr. Abiodun Olaku, Mr. Wallace Ejoh, Mr. Joshua Nmesirionye and many others.
During her youth service in Osun State, she set up a visual arts studio for the school where she taught fine arts(2014-2015).
She participated in the University of Lagos final year exhibition in 2014, as one of the featured student artists. She has worked and collaborated with other artists as well.
Vanguard News Nigeria