As the lines and strokes increasingly come together, shapes are formed and it becomes clearer what Polly Alakija is painting on the bus. Dancers! The Parkhood Dancers at Freedom Park on Lagos Island. A pro bono community dance troupe of young boys and girls trained by Sinaayomi Ipaye to engage and develop their talents. These are the people you see on the bus in different dance positions.
For Alakija, these children represent Freedom, the kind of freedom the Children at Eruobodo House do not have. Eruobodo House, is a home for special children in Ijebu Ode maintained by Quintessence Limited. They desire expansion to better serve these children and others abandoned with similar needs in that community. These children are at the heart of this painting by Alakija.
A percentage of the proceeds from the sales of the limited edition prints of the Molue painting will go to support both Eruobodo House and the Parkhood Dancers at Freedom Park.
Beyond the symbol of Freedom represented with dance and vibes by the Parkhood Dancers to raise support for Eruobodo children lies other interesting connections to the purpose of this project. The choice of Molue for one is driven by Alakija’s apprehension that the days of the bus in Lagos are numbered. For her, this mode of transportation was typically an average Lagosian’s means of transport and should not be undocumented for the new Lagos people to see. It is associated with the vibes, hustle and bustle you experience in Lagos. Seeing the Molue brings a nostalgic feeling that takes you to a different time in Lagos and all that comes with it.
The underlying connections of all these factors makes the painting richer to the knowing eyes and you appreciate it more than if you didn’t know the background to this moving work of art.
Join Polly Alakija to support the talents of the Parkhood Dancers and children at Eruobodo House by ordering a copy of the limited print when it’s out for sale at Red Door Gallery and Quintessence Store.