Affinity Art Gallery and Undiscovered Canvas, a boutique art agency based on the French Riviera, have on view in Lagos, an exhibition titled ‘A Vernacular Homage to Architecture and Design’. The exhibition features sculptural work by two women artists – Anne Adams and Lulama ‘Wolf’ Mlambo – from Nigeria and South Africa respectively.
The works on view emphasise the importance of tradition, heritage, design and sustainability by focusing on the social functions and information passed down through generations by African matriarchs, outside of a globalised modern commercial practice. In the works presented, viewers are taken back in time to when art existed as part of the people’s culture, lifestyle, spiritualism, and when humanity was intertwined in a rhythmic dance with nature.
Using vernacular techniques and textures Adams’ works incorporate structure, design, and authentic Nigerian symbols adapted from Nsibidi and Mbari art. The use of symmetry in her works brings a harmonious show of interactions with balance and indigenous design. Her works have been described as “intimate, familiar, and a representation of abundance and harmony which tell stories about the origins and belonging of Africans”.
For Mlambo, vernacular architecture is a principal theme with which she explores the human disposition in imaginative and stylized ways. She interrogates the pre-colonial African experience through the contemporary mind by studying the patterns used in decorating homes, similar to the practice by the women of the Ndebele tribe of Southern Africa. These patterns serve as a means of communication. Mlambo’s approach to her new body of works “Remaining Vernacular” is reminiscent of the textures and character of these South African modes of communication.
Anne Adams, born in 1993 in Nigeria, is a contemporary ceramic artist currently working and living in Lagos. Adams focuses on using her medium and style to change the narrative surrounding the quality and potential of ceramic as an art form in Nigeria. She has participated in local and international group exhibitions and has featured in online publications and televised shows including; BBC News Pidgin, Daily Trust Newspaper, Channels TV.
Lulama ‘Wolf’ Mlambo was born in 1993 and is a visual artist who lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. In her first year at the University of Johannesburg, studying fine art and fashion, Mlambo’s expressionist and abstract interest became more evident in her work. She is inspired by two avant-garde South African artists, Mmakgabo Helen Sebidi and Ernest Mancoba. Mlambo has been part of group exhibitions worldwide including, THK Gallery, Group Exhibition, Cape Town, (2020); Undiscovered Canvas, Group Exhibition, Antibes, (2020); 1-54, Online Group Show, Paris, (2021); Nature of Women, Artshesays, New York, (2021).
‘A Vernacular Homage to Architecture and Design’ is on view at Affinity Gallery, Lagos until August 28, 2021.