Affinity Gallery is pleased to present ‘Wonderland‘, an exhibition of paintings and mixed media works by Kay Gasei, Uzo Njoku, Delphine Dénéréaz, Terence Maluleke and Ekene Stanley. The exhibition opening on the 2nd of November 2023 in the middle of the Lagos art season, marks the first time any of these five artists have shown their work in Nigeria.
The works in this exhibition place emphasis on what it means to traverse the world with an open-minded curiosity that allows for the constant questioning of the status-quo. Questions about identity, belonging, community, culture and our collective histories, are some of the conversations highlighted in this showcase; while also creating a wonderland of its own, a safe space that is accessible to all and fosters a spirit of awe.
Delphine Dénéréaz (b.1989) is visual artist from the South-East of France. She lives and works in Marseille and graduated with a master’s degree in textile design from La Cambre, Brussels in 2013. Delphine works with recycled textiles using the traditional medieval technique of «tapis de lirette», allowing recycling and reuse. In 2022, she was the laureate of the artistic residency programme Passages organised by Versant Sud in collaboration with the African Artist’s Foundation in Lagos where she began the creative process that led to the works in this exhibition. Immersing herself in the experience, and conflating her practice with those of local artisans and practitioners, her works highlight the soft (fabric), hard (metal) and hidden qualities of the city and its people.
Born in 1994, Ekene Stanley Emecheta is a self-taught Nigerian artist. He lives and works in London and Nigeria. Ekene’s works are mostly figurative, rendered with oil and acrylic on canvas. His recent works focus more on human energy, personality, and identity. Ekene Stanley invites you into a world that mostly exists internally, where there are no limits and everyone is free to tell their own stories however they see fit. To achieve this, he strips his subjects of certain parts of their humanness and instead allows the viewer to fill in the gaps thereby making them a participant and creator in his world, and imbuing them with power and control.
Kay Gasei was born (1991) in Lusaka, Zambia and currently lives and works in London. He studied Illustration at Oxford Brookes where he graduated with honours in 2014. His dynamic works combine the mythological with the historical, resulting in rich, ambitious yet ambiguous compositions. Gasei uses his imagination to draw on personal memories of the past, mixing these with historical research and mythology to create confident, complex works that collapse time and space. Gasei’s eclectic style blends abstracted, expressive mark making with figuration to play with the notion of narrative, creating fractured tales that maintain an air of obscurity despite feeling somewhat familiar. His works have a deep sense of self-reflection, with Gasei using both visual and literary tools to interrogate social systems.
Terence Maluleke is a digital artist and painter based in Johannesburg. Born in 1995 in Soweto, Maluleke’s work draws inspiration from the township community he grew up in. Working in a predominantly figurative mode, he creates stylised portraits and still-lifes that explore contemporary Black urban experience. Maluleke is an accomplished visual developer who has worked with Walt Disney Animation Studios, Sony Pictures Animation, Netflix and Triggerfish.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria and raised in the USA, Uzo Njoku (b. 1996) is a breakout painter and determined business woman set on bridging the gap between fine art and the commercial world of design. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia in Studio Art in 2019. Uzo herself, as in her work, represents the rare quality of dynamism and multiplicity. Her tenacity and creativity which appear in different forms and across different mediums is reflected in this body of work.
The exhibition runs until the 16th of December 2023.
For interviews, images, and comment, please contact: Moni Aisida, email@example.com
Exhibition Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11 am – 6 pm. Sundays are by appointment only.
Unit 2, 1-7 Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria. www.galleryaffinity.com
Affinity Gallery is a modern and contemporary gallery dedicated to the promotion and celebration of African artists who are passionately sharing the African narrative with their works. The gallery functions as a beacon to educate and preserve Africa’s rich and diverse culture in a bid to inspire the next generation of young Africans.
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