Promoting peaceful co-existence through Islamic art
The stage is set for an art exhibition designed to promote Islamic advocacy for co-existence in the society through art. Tagged Seeds of Peace: the Sower and the Envoy, the show is being organised by the Halal Art Gallerieo with the support of IBEJI Foundation and the Forum for Islamic Welfare and Education.
Featuring the works of Ridwan Osinowo, a graduate of Fine Art, Yaba College of Technology, the exhibition is expected to run from August 30 to September 6, 2015 at the National Museum gallery, Onikan, Lagos.
At a briefing held on Wednesday at the Nigeria Institute for Medical Research, Yaba, Lagos, Osiniwo said, the show is also aimed at correcting erroneous notion that Islam promotes violence, as being seemingly propagated by insurgents.
Going by the exhibition title, each of over 40 artworks on display symbolizes a seed of peace; the Sower is Almighty God while individual member of the society is the envoy that is expected to walk the noble course.
Titles of the individual art pieces were mostly generated from verses of the Qur’an and sayings of Prophet Muhammad, which form the foundation of Islam as a religion of peace. Majority of the works were rendered in beautiful Arabic calligraphy while the rest range from abstract and stylist paintings.
One of remarkable revelations of the exhibition as emphasised at the briefing is the introduction of aluminium composite panel (ACP), HDF board, sublimation plate and sublimation printing technique with which Osinowo experimented to execute most of the art pieces.
Osinowo richly used mirror gold, silver and bronze variants of ACP together with transparent Perspex and sublimation printing technique for rendition of Arabic calligraphy in both flat and three dimensional (3D) forms. Featuring a combination of these media in art exhibition is described as unprecedented in the history of Nigerian contemporary art.
Prior to this maiden edition of his solo show, Osinowo has participated in several secular and Islamic exhibitions in Lagos, Abuja and Saudi Arabia. Many of his masterpieces adorn public places and private homes in Nigeria and abroad.
Executive Secretary, IBEJI Foundation, Alhaja Khairat Olusegun Sodique, in a statement, expressed optimism that the event would be a “showcase of different calligraphic works and decorative patterns of houses of worships, people, places and various paintings and artworks celebrating Ridwan Oshinowo’s unique designs and his entire mode of creativity.
IBEJI (Ismail Bolaji Ebiti Jamaah in Islam) Foundation, she said, was fascinated by the versatility of the artist, hence its support for the show. She attributed the choice of theme to the belief that “everything on earth is from the ground and it can only be commanded and germinated by Allah.
He is the Sower of Seeds of Peace and the Artist and all of us are medium of distributing the germinated seeds i.e. we are the Envoy.” Alhaja Khairat’s prayer is for the exhibition “germinate into Seeds of Peace, which will spread amongst the entire humanity.”
At the closing of the show on September 6, arrangement has been perfected to stage an inter-faith forum featuring speakers and audience from both Islam and Christianity and other concerned faithful.
Dignitaries to grace the opening ceremony on August 30 include Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule; Managing Director of Bi-Courtney Ltd, Dr. Wale Babalakin, who is also chairman of the occasion; the Royal Father of the occasion is Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad among other notable members of Nigerian community as well as diplomats from various countries.
IBEJI is a non-governmental, philanthropic Islamic organisation that supports Islamic activities, indigent students, Islamic organisations and works that will not only promote Islam, but peaceful co-existence of Muslims and non-Muslims.
It also aims to support research works, provision of basic amenities for communal usage and supporting Islamic calligraphic and art works that will promote peace, unity and peaceful co-existence amongst the populace irrespective of their race and religion.