Countervailing: to offset the effect of (something) by countering it with something of equal force.
Long time no art.
For the first time this year, I went off to see some art. I hadn’t been in a museum/art gallery in a long time due to Rona and other tales so I was quite excited. A friend of mine was interested in seeing an exhibition at the Barbican which was great because I had never been to the Barbican even though I lived in the area for about a year.
Upon arriving at the Barbican, we realised that although the exhibition was free, we were required to book tickets with time slots for crowd control. So we hurriedly booked the next available time slot which was two hours away, but they let us in anyway so yay.
The exhibition was by Nigerian-American artist Toyin Ojih-Odutola and it was titled A Countervailing Theory.
The exhibition is set in Nigeria, Plateau state to be exact, and it depicts an imaginary prehistoric reality in which women are the rulers over docile men who are the labourers. Emotional and sexual relationship are forbidden between men and women, and only permitted within the same sex. This had me scratching my head because how….never mind.
My confusion only grew as I moved through the exhibition as I didn’t understand what I was looking at. It would have been helpful to have a booklet or at least little descriptions next to the paintings. I gave up on trying to understand the whole thing and just appreciated the art. At the time I found it dreary, and remarked how I liked my art with some colour. I was not familiar with the artist but we googled her and I liked some of her other work and wished we could see those instead. However since then I have fallen more in love with the exhibition, even more so when writing this post. Plus these articles helped me understand it a bit more.
I am so impressed by artists and the work they put into their work. It is so amazing to me that someone can come up with an idea, sit down with a canvas and then create art; and she did it forty times for this exhibition.
The best part of the paintings for me were the eyes; the artist did an excellent job of conveying the emotions in the eyes. All in all the exhibition was great and I look forward to seeing more from Toyin Ojih-Odutola.
My favourite piece of the exhibition is one I liked to call “Tired Man” aka “Mood Forever“. It was love at first sight for me and if I had a nice fancy house with loads of extra money I would definitely like to have this hanging in my house.
Enough words, here are the pictures.
Oh I love art in all its beauty and I cannot get enough.