From March 18 to April 5, Omenka Gallery will present Realm of Freedom, an exhibition of recent work by leading contemporary sculptor Raqib Bashorun.
Alongside an exemplary career spanning over 3 decades as a teacher, Raqib Bashorun has maintained an active studio practice accompanied by a rigorous exhibition schedule that have all but contributed to his prominence as one of the most significant artists working in Nigeria today.
Bashorun continues to incorporate in his work, found materials from his immediate environment, most notably metal in form of aerosol and soda cans, as well as domestic accessories like table cutlery. These experiments begun in the past decade, remain a key feature of his oeuvre. Major solo exhibitions like Evolving in Discovery (2013) at Terra Kulture, as well as Evolving through Waste (2014) and Evolving in 360 (2015), both at Omenka Gallery, chart the course of his trajectory.
His latest solo at Omenka, Realm of Freedom builds upon from these experiences. Borrowing from the constructivists and expressionists, Bashorun’s skill is evident in his ability to effortlessly blend metal, wood and other found objects. Design is central to the artist’s oeuvre, his leading dictated by his materials. Essentially a commentary on the state of the Nigerian economy, the artist reveals his inspiration behind the 19 works on display, “This body of work was inspired by the thought of the common agitations we all share irrespective of race, tribe or nationality and the tsunami of hardships meted out to us.”
Indeed, Raqib Bashorun like all Nigerians yearns for a state of utopia, of bliss, and of freedom – a Nigeria wherein all are offered respite away from the effects of the recklessness and impropriety of her leaders.
About the artist
Raqib Bashorun is amongst the most prominent contemporary artists working in Nigeria today. His career as an artist and teacher is marked by significant exhibitions around the world and the quality of artists defining their spaces on the Lagos artscape.
Bashorun reconstructs pre-existing materials, reinterprets and ultimately repurposes them as recycled art. The creation of something positive from the inherent negativity of waste, and the reaction of surprise, the materials inevitably draw from the observer, are the key factors in Bashorun’s art.
He has participated in 13 solo exhibitions and has been featured in over 26 group shows at home and abroad.