The Wheatbaker is proud to host Gbam! Unearthing and Reclaiming a New Becoming, a photography exhibition co-curated by A White Space Creative Agency and SMO Contemporary Art.
The exhibition of 25 photographs question our continual unearthing, uncovering, discovering and re-imagining perfection by drawing on our history and identity as Africans. Gbam! presents evocative photographs by Daniel Obasi, Kadara Enyeansi, Kola Oshalusi, Lex Ash, Noma Osula and Ola Ebiti, six avant-garde fashion photographers exploring who we are, and who we aspire to become as we explore our collective GBAM!
These bold, new-generation photographers sift through our rich fashion, culture, traditions, narratives and symbols to challenge our aesthetic identity as we project a renewed understanding of perfection from a millennial standpoint.
For example, Noma Osula’s powerful portraits of perfectly chiseled tribal marks across his subject’s striking Bantu features are juxtaposed against fine pink fabric, whimsically wound around a stout physical presence. Osula’ explores traditional scarification and our concept of beauty and traditional symbolism against the interplay of striking whimsical adornment.
On the other hand, Kola Oshalusi’s documentary depiction of youth in Northern Nigeria present an emotional naivite, a clustering of untainted stillness and repose within an arid, harsh landscape. His powerful black and white images present a lyrical expose of young adults, always in clusters, facing forward with resilience despite their stark surroundings.
“GBAM! showcases the exciting diversity of images currently being created by a new generation of Nigerian visual artists,” explained Papa Omotayo, exhibition co-Curator and Founder of A White Space Creative Agency. “The works are fluid, referential, charged with self-reflection and steeped in the narrative and contradictions of modern contemporary African identity and style. “
“Gbam! broadens the common perception of fashion photography as an art form, and spreads its tentacles wide to provide socio-economic critique as it questions perfection vis-à-vis identity, equality and traditional norms and expectations,” said Sandra Mbanefo Obiago, the Wheatbaker’s long standing art curator and founder of SMO Contemporary Art.
“The six photographers draw on cultural historical roots and attempt to divine their essence whilst simultaneously presenting a balanced sometimes ambiguous whole, one that belongs entirely in the present, and may, possibly point to a new, bolder, more beautiful future” comments Mazzi Odu, Nigerian fashion editor and writer.
Gbam! runs from June 9th to September 15th, 2018 and is supported by Louis Guntrum and the Wheatbaker.