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20-yr-old ‘missing & found’ 35 masterpieces on display at Mydrim Gallery

Photo: One of the drawings (charcoal, 23 x 16.5 inches, dated 2002), by Abiodun Olaku.

OLU Ajayi, Sam Ovraiti, Abiodun Olaku, Duke Asidere, Edosa Ogiugo, Ben Osaghae, and Olusegun Adejumo regrouped 20 years after a drawing workshop converged the artists in Lagos.

The drawings produced from a 2002 workshop are going for public display, for the first time after they were declared missing, but later found.

Described as “35 choice drawings,” the works, put together for an exhibition titled 2002, will be showing from November 6-19, 2022, at Mydrim Gallery, 74B, Norman Williams Street, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Supervised by late modernist, Yusuf Grillo, the drawing workshop was held at Didi Museum, Victoria Island, Lagos, in 2002.

The convener of the workshop, Teniola Aluko recalled that 20 years ago, she and Olaku came up with a concept focusing on the crucial role of drawing in art. “We felt that in themselves, drawings are important expressions,” Aluko stated, explaining how Grillo was invited to supervise the event. 

And after the workshop, there was a plan to get the drawings together for an exhibition, but something unforeseen happened. “The results were captivating and I felt really good to have put it together,” Aluko explained. 

“In bizarre circumstances, the drawings went missing! I am so delighted that 20 years later I have the opportunity to share these great works with you!”

In its gallery note, Mydrim recalled how the focus of the artists’ gathering 20 years ago was ‘interpreting a female model with the objective of exhibiting the drawings at the end of the workshop.” And the diversity of interpreting the same object, according to the gallery, expanded the appreciation value of the contents.

Expressing the gallery’s delight, Mrs. Adesanya narrated: “In the year 2022, a  lady Miss Teniola Edu, (now Mrs. Teniola Aluko),  in her bid to promote the visual arts, and particularly drawing, as an important component, organised a drawing workshop for the then seven young established artists.” 

“The excitement we feel can be likened to that of an archeologist who just dug up hidden treasures,” the founder of Mydrim Gallery, Mrs. Sinmidele Adesanya stated.

“These are indeed priceless pieces stored by fate for 20 years during which all seven artists have become renown master artists.”

Lamenting that one of the artists, Osaghae died a few years ago, Adesanya whose gallery has 30-year experience in promoting art however took solace in the fact that other artists are alive to keep the work of their late colleague alive. “We are thankful that the remaining six artists and the convener are alive to witness this historical event.” 

Curated by Adesanya and Aluko, 2002 continues Mydrim Gallery’s 30th-anniversary celebration, Adesanya said.

“We are delighted that it is the second exhibition in our season of  celebrating  Mydrim Gallery’s 30th anniversary.” Few weeks ago, Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA), Lagos Chapter, held its yearly October Raim exhibition in honour of the 30th anniversary of Mydrim. We proudly present 35 choice drawings by 7 master draughtsmen for your viewing pleasure as well as to enrich your collection.”

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