Monday, June 12, 2017 6:27 am
An international artist, Nsikak Essien, has urged Nigerians to celebrate their unity in diversity as portrayed in his art work title, “Love Spirit” (Wazobia).
Essien said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Uyo, on Sunday.
He said that the unity of the country as depicted in his piece of art was to encourage coexistence among different tribes.
The artist said that he used mat as a congregation point, where Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Ibibio and all tribes “sat together on one mat and ate in the same plate, in love and unity.’
He said that the different tribes being from one God could stay together and understand each other in love as the work of art.
“You see, there is no love among tribes in this country now. There is so much confusion, but what I did was to bring all the tribes together in one mat.
“In the mat, I tried to bring all the tribes together, even though they do not agree, but in art, all the tribes agreed and were eating from one plate.
“It is actually called “love spirit” Wazobia plus, they are all eating from one plate.
“The Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Ibibio and many others sitting on the same mat and eating from one plate without any problem and all I can see is love.
“It is prophetic that all tribes in this country can stay together in love, “Essien said.
He described the exhibition as of international standard, adding that the quality of art work exhibited are of international quality that could stand anywhere in the world.
The artist commended the creativity exhibited by the artists as showcased in the art exhibition.
According to him, the quality of presentation and the exhibits were amazing, adding that it could attract any foreign investors.
Also speaking to NAN, Ini Ememobong, the state Publicity Secretary, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), said that conscious efforts should be made to bring down the price of raw materials use by artists.
He said that although art all over the world was expensive, exhibition would definitely raise the value of art.
“Therefore we must see how best we can ensure that the prices of raw materials that artists use are not too expensive for them.
“And we must see that we value art because immediately you value a thing, price becomes insignificant.
“Exhibition like this raises the value of art, when people come to see it like this, they now want to own it.
“You don’t own what you can’t see. You cannot feature in a future you cannot picture.
“Therefore the exhibition provide avenue for people to picture so that they can want to own,” Ememobong said
He described the exhibition as first class though “strange” to the people as it does not fall under their basic needs.
He said, “man was created to enjoy bliss but since man had fallen from grace, man has not enjoyed bliss only through exhibition like this can man see nature in real perspective.”
He urged the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to make the exhibition international so as to attract foreigners across the globe to further popularise the image of the state.
Ememobong commended Gov. Mr Udom Emmanuel, for showcasing ingenuity that are abound in the state including arts.
Essien, is a renowned mixed media and experimental artist who graduated from Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu in 1979 with a Distinction in Painting and as the Best Overall Graduate.
He retired from lecturing at his alma mater in 1991, to concentrate on full time studio practice
Some of Essien’s works which have been featured in many exhibitions include “The way,” “Big bang Reality (New Birth), “Rainbow Shelter” “Love story” series, “Ultimate love Anthem.”
A number of his works rank among the most famous in existence.
His output in every field of interest is prodigious; given the sheer volume of his paintings, he is the best documented artist among his contemporaries.