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Of Fractals and Embryos: Arikpo, O’nali explore human evolution



Of Fractals and Embryos:  Arikpo, O’nali  explore human evolution


Human evolution and our ever evolving society take centre stage as a joint exhibition of about 30 paintings and mixed media by two contemporary Nigeria artists, Promise O’nali and Godwin Arikpo opened on Saturday, at Alexis Galleries, Victoria Island, Lagos.


Entitled, Of Fractals and Embryos, the show which will run till Saturday, November 17, 2018, is hosted by Alexis Galleries. It deals with human evolution and our ever evolving society.


“This is the first time the works of these selling artists will be on view in our gallery and we happy to show their recent works. The exhibition features about 30 paintings and mixed media masterfully created,” says Mrs. Patty Chidiac-Mastrogiannis.


Humans have always been surrounded with events and people that teach them certain ideals about life. These experiences form the nucleus of each individual’s circle of consciousness. Each individual’s way of life is highly dependent on his level of consciousness and in hindsight; we are all surrounded in a consciousness bubble. Of Fractals and Embryos is a commingling of two artists and their different philosophies of the evolution of consciousness.


“We are all a part of one single unfurling fractal reality and connected to each other. Everything in the universe is connected as part of this great expanding fractal cosmic entity. Each life form is a variant of fractal dynamics.”



The study of Fractal geometry allows bounded curves of infinite length, and closed surfaces with infinite area. It even allows curves with positive volume, and arbitrarily large groups of shapes with exactly the same boundary. This is exactly how our lungs manage to maximize their surface area.
Physiologists discovered an empirical understanding of how much blood flows through our circulatory system, and how this relates to the physical size of the vessels that carry it. The kidneys, the liver, the pancreas are all organs created along self-similar fractal rules. So too is the most extraordinary of all; the human brain which is, without conviction, a very fractal piece of art! It has a fascinatingly fractal structure. You only have to look at it to see that.


For Godwin Arikpo, Fractals permeates lives and the whole system of the universe is essentially governed by flow dynamics. “With each of us being a part of one inconceivably large unfurling fractal entity that constitutes everything, our purpose becomes evidently to participate consciously and continue the journey of evolution and entropy by expressing creativity that keeps the whole thing expanding rather than descending into a flat field of sameness; all contributing as part of this one unfurling, fractal whole. Embryos are metaphors for evolution, change, growth, advancement, formation,” notes Arikpo.


Also, for O’nali, the paintings of circles and embryos are metaphors for consciousness, evolution. These works are mostly of figures in profile, embedded in circles, laden with embryonic swirls which represent the consciousness bubble of each individual, family, community, nation, etc. “We always find ourselves in these bubbles we have created and it influences the way we interact with other people and handle sensitive situations. For me, embryos represent our states of consciousness, it grows everyday, but its growth rate depends heavily on what and how we feed it,” notes O’nali.


…Of Fractals and Embryos encapsulates the idea of embryos as an artistic exploration of the evolution of collective consciousness and how it enhances human development. Our circulatory system, our lungs, our brains are like trees. They are fractal structures. Most natural bodies – and that includes us human beings – are composed of many different types of fractals woven into each other, each with parts which have different fractal dimensions. How our minds work is highly dependent on what we feed it with, if we only think and consume ideas that move us to the next level of human development, then our immediate environment will be a lot more conducive and inviting both for human interaction and economic growth.


O’nali studied Art at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) where he nurtured his love for mixed media. He used to love knowing how stuff works, always eager to disassemble electronics piece by piece just to know how they were put together. But above all, he loved drawing; it gave him a sense of purpose.


He was born in Rivers State, Nigeria, and he is inspired by life, evolution, science, and finding uncanny unconventional ways of telling his own version of the ‘humanity’ story.


Arikpo has revealed himself in a full set of life stages from his earliest days as a creative being with a high cultural aspiration, displaying an extraordinary combination of courage, talent and adventure. His highly perceptible mixed- media art is a metrical synthesis of Drawing, painting, graphics, mixture, assemblage, and sculpture composed to mutually create new veracity with a more easy-to-read, figurative arrangement.


Arikpo’s extensive patois and innovative use of alternate materials and tactic surpasses routine technique, crafting a vigorous pictorial phrase that is not only multi-dimensional but also multi-sensual.


In eight years, Alexis Galleries have engaged in the presentation and dissemination of contemporary art in the media of painting, drawing, mixed media and sculpture. We have established ourselves rapidly as one of the best galleries in Nigeria, a meeting place for artists, collectors and enthusiasts of art.


“We have supported artists to organise and showcase their works and talents through numerous exhibitions, as we desire to take the Nigerian artists to greater heights in strengthening the ever vibrant Nigerian Art Circle. With this outing, we have expanded our scope to include collaboration with NGOs, organising residence programmes, workshops, as well as annual exhibitions.


“This exhibition wouldn’t have been possible without our sponsors: Pepsi, Delta Airline, Amarula, Nederburg, Cobranet Internet Service Provider, Cool FM, Wazobia FM/TV, Chocolate Royal, The Avenue Suites, Art Café and The Homestores Limited, who have been very supportive,” Mrs. Chidiac-Mastrogiannis said.

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