Arts & Entertainments

Different Shades of Being as Ekpetorson’s solo exhibition opens in Lagos

Elizabeth Chioma Ekpetorson’s second solo exhibition which opens on Saturday June 19, 2021, preaches acceptance of each individual’s unique nature and being. The exhibition Different Shades of Being which will run till Friday 25th, 2021, at the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos, is organised by Affordable Art Online, promoters of the Annual Ibadan Art fair. Ekpetorson, popularly known as Eleez, is a non-binary artist from Nigeria. Born in April 1991, she obtained her BA in Fine Art and Design from the University of Port-Harcourt Nigeria. After a season of Internship at the Universal Studios of Art, Lagos, Nigeria, she rolled an independent practice.

Her figurative work body is about self-acceptance, women, and other subject matters catalysed by swift response to creative impulses on human issues. She is based in Lagos Nigeria, where her works are developed from her home studio. She has participated in various art exhibitions in Nigeria and abroad. In creating the works for ‘Different Shades of Being’, the artist deals with various emotions that they go through as non-binary artists living in Nigeria. While coping with depression, she created the works as a diary of how she felt, with some of the works reflecting the highs and lows that she felt, this is manifest in the series ‘duality of nature’ and ‘two seasons’.

With the exhibition the artist preaches acceptance of each in-dividual’s unique nature and being because as humans we are blessed with variety and different ways of thinking and of living. “What I do isn’t an integral aspect, or a percentage, rather it is me in entirety. It is safe to say it does not start at one point to end at another, but present in all facets.

My experiences in life inform my artistic practice in the same way the art in itself continues to have tremendous influence over my existence. In rendering my compositions, I employ human forms as muse, thereby harnessing my feelings, conjuring memories and putting a stamp on the feeling resident in my work. “In the past, I have encircled my works within an impressionist – cubist root, right now, all art movement labels are stripped off. The motive is to not be boxed up within an identity that does nothing but inhibit artistic possibilities. For a spontaneous practice as mine, it has proven to be not just a box, but a cage.

I am an artist of diverse expressions, with a penchant for nudes and portraits, the drive is to reveal authentic personalities underneath veils, also highlighting the importance of perceiving beyond physical attributes,” she said. She added that through her works, she seeks to draw attention to self-acceptance: embracing one’s self unconditionally, without fear or exception.

“In telling my story, a large portion is dedicated to women, I paint for the shamed or silenced select of them, untangling their limitations and emboldening them via my art. Ultimately, my art is towards humanity, let every human breathe and be recklessly free. I enjoin each spectator to let go of prejudices based on the exterior, excavate into the distinct characteristic of each entity, animate or inanimate.”

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