Rele Gallery Lagos is pleased to present its last exhibition of the year It’s a wRAP. Featuring works from our represented artists Marcellina Akpojotor, Tonia Nneji, Ameh Egwuh, Chidinma Nnoli, Sabrina Coleman-Pinheiro, Michael Igwe, Iyunola Sanyaolu and David Otaru, the exhibition explores topical subject matters and critical reflections rooted in personal and collective experiences.
Ranging from the abstract to works in figuration, It’s A wRAP invites the audience to dialogue with a mixture of stylistic influences and thematic focus. We imagine this exhibition as a place of gathering — one of meticulously conveyed underpinnings and artistic spirits — a locus where visual references and social commentary commune from diverse origins.
Marcellina Akpojotor’s ‘Ode to Beautiful Memories’ is an ongoing dialogue on familial history, the evolving nature of archives and an intimate celebration of memories and generational legacy. The works in this series function as both a re-engagement with a personal history as well as an act of remembrance and commemoration, serving as a monument and testament to past lives and unfolding futures.
Tonia Nneji’s presented series ‘Transaction for Sanctification’ references her experiences with religious institutions in her search for alternative treatment. It questions a culture of purity and arbitrary judgment that precludes access to religious spaces. Conflating the sacred with the sensual, the body of work considers the role of the church in enforcing a system of moral policing and exclusion against women — especially during moments of vulnerability — in contemporary Nigerian societies.
In ‘Fantasies of the Other Side’, Ameh Egwuh imagines new worlds rooted in varied beliefs of the afterlife across several cultures. Exploring ideas of reincarnation, ancestral veneration and nothingness, the works fictionalise the unknown, creating a hybrid space of memory and continuity.
Generally inspired by personal and lived experiences, Chidinma Nnoli’s Let’s Hope the Sun Will Show Us the Path documents the beginning stages of her newfound independence (escape) from a strict religious home and how she moves through unknown ‘waters’ and spaces while seeking a path and embracing this newfound freedom.
Sabrina Coleman-Pinheiro's series 'Fragmented Versions of Self' treats the voyeuristic role society plays in its engagement with mental illness. It focuses on the relationship between the observer and the observed, seeking to highlight its fragility and superficiality.
Michael Igwe’s Between Extremes investigates the dynamic ways the body mediates across certain spaces and time as well as a subjective account of accumulated experiences. Drawing from lived encounters, the works chronicle unconscious states in the feeling, acting and thinking of a transitioning body, suggesting both listening and negotiating with bodies in ways that elude the notion of mere covering.
IyunOla Sanyaolu’s ‘How Do You Sleep?’ recounts the intimate and varied movements and positions the body assumes while in a state of rest. Having been described as a restless sleeper, this body of work is focused on recording these dynamic, often sporadic movements while also exploring the relationship between the unconscious body and the lived space.
In his series ‘The Muse and the Paintbrush’, David Otaru looks into the intimate relationship between the artist and the muse. Drawing primarily from his practice, Otaru underlines the role of the muse as a catalyst for artistic expression, bringing into our consciousness the vitality of this relationship.