Raqib Bashorun: Evolving Through Waste

Raqib Bashorun: Evolving Through Waste

Raqib Bashorun is amongst the most prominent contemporary artists working in Nigeria today. His recent exhibition, Evolving Through Waste at the Omenka Gallery, focuses on the artist’s increasing interest with found materials-a preoccupation since 1987.

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.

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Here, the exemplary display of 18 works in wood, aluminium and plastic confronts us with the need to focus on the history around the material whilst raising questions of environmental sustainabilitysustainability. Along with their aesthetic appeal, several of Bashorun’s sculptures are a metaphor for the the blatant disregard of proper disposal and often times waste including spiritual, material, labour, manpoer, lives, energy and time. Of principal interest is Ripples, Bubbles and Rhythm, which marks an end point and a new beginning in Bashorun’s new body of work. Ripples, Bubbles and Rhythm serves as the connecting block between these works on display and Evolving through Discovery, a series completed in 2013, and the subject of a previous solo exhibiion. The work is significant as it marks arguably, the incorporation of bottle caps into his oeuvre.

According to the artist, “At take-off, I was not thinking of the popular expressions such as ‘waste to wealth’ or ‘trash to treasure’, rather, I saw waste in an artistic sense-as an ‘art form’, and I sourced for some, which readily or through modifications, I could connect with the other forms I created myself in wood, to further my mission. My approach to employing these objects was one of exploration, experimentation, commitment and passion.”

Raqib Bashorun’s 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. He has participated in 12 solo exhibitions and has been featured in over 26 group shows at home and abroad.

Raqib Bashorun’s Evolving through Waste runs from May 17 to 30 at the Omenka Gallery, Lagos

Oliver Enwonwu is founder and Editor-in-Chief of Omenka magazine, Director, Omenka Gallery and Chief Executive, Revilo. He holds a first degree in Biochemistry, advanced diploma in Exploration Geophysics (distinction), Post Graduate Diplomas in Applied Geophysics and Visual Art (distinction) and a Masters in Art History, all from the University of Lagos. He is the founder, Executive Director, and trustee of The Ben Enwonwu Foundation. He also sits on the board of several organizations including the National Gallery of Art, Nigeria and the Reproduction Rights Society of Nigeria. Enwonwu is also president of both the Society of Nigerian Artists and the Alliance of Nigerian Art Galleries.

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