Nike Okundaye, Tola Wewe set for Stitches of Partnership 4

Okundaye-&-Tola-WeweFOR art connoisseurs in Lagos, another apt opportunity is being put in place to collect the best of contemporary paintings, as Chief (Mrs.) Oyenike Monica Okundaye and former Ondo State Commissioner for Arts and Tourism, Mr. Tola Wewe, will on Saturday, November 7, present a collection of their new paintings titled Stitches of Partnership 4 at Nike Art Gallery on Elegushi Road, Ikate, Lagos. The show ends November 17.

It is a way to round off the year as well as offer collectors opportunity to collect their works and embrace their medium. Each of the two artists will feature 20 paintings, which will be juried, but the works will be mirroring individual artist’s studio traits to daily happenings in the society, ranging from culture to environment and other social issues.

The exhibition is a collaborative effort to feature the two top artists, who have in their various endeavors produced and executed remarkable art works in the last two decades.

The hosting of the exhibition, according to the management of Nike Art Gallery, is due primarily to the public and popular demand to view the works of the artists. The opening event will feature dance performance, Nigerian cultural food and wearable arts.
“It will feature painting that showcase the rich cultural heritage of Yorubaland and Nigeria. Works are drawn from the archives of the two artists and they are paintings that will thrill any art lover,’’ the gallery said.

Okundaye is the brain behind the Nike Art Empire. She is one of the most respected female artists from the country, who have made astounding strides in textile, visual arts and mixed media painting. Some of her work can be found amongst the collection of George Harrison (Beatles pop group member), the White House (seat of power in the United States of America), and museums worldwide. There is hardly any important museum in the world that does not have Okundaye’s work.

She is an artist of many parts. She drums, directs plays, dances, paints, and trains young adults to do all of the listed. However, she is most outstanding in paintings and designs of adire, beadwork and batik. She was once described as an artist who used detailed and arresting batik images to chronicle her society’s contradictory views towards women. ‘Mama Adire’ as she likes to be known, has won countless awards from around the world; not only for her artwork, but her contribution to her community at wide and the impact she has had on people’s lives.

One of Nike’s proudest achievements was in the year 2000, when she was invited to Italy by the Italian government to train young Nigerian sex workers how to use their hands to engage in creative ventures.

Wewe is a founding member of the Ona movement, which emerged in February 1989. The movement is a group of scholars, critics and practicing artists committed to pursuing artistic excellence through the adaptation and interpretation of traditional materials and methods, forms and styles of contemporary Yoruba art and design.

Wewe, whose works are widely acclaimed for their originality, simplicity, surface texture and mastery of colours, is considered one of the most talented artist. His work is a hybrid of African and western sensibilities and images, reflecting his own training and experience as an international artist.
Wewe’s work has been exhibited across Europe and the US. As a full time artist, he lives and works in Ondo State.

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