Chibuike, Ogundeji, others win big at ReCylArt
With the new initiative by Sterling Bank Plc., materials considered waste and a harzard to the planet and our environment will soon become a thing of the past, as the financial institution has established an art completion with the purpose to empower young and emerging artists to use the power of art to promote recycling and repurposing of waste materials for the benefit of the environment.
The competition involves the use of recycled and repurposed materials to create amazing pieces of contemporary art for public spaces in the artists’ local community.
It is also expected to spark top level thematic discourse on waste and recycling and the need to reclaim public spaces from waste material in a creative way that can generate wealth, which will also encourage Nigerians to rethink waste disposal.
The contestants that were selected from the six geo-political zones were therefore asked to create pieces using the material found in their areas considered to be wastes. This saw works made from seashells, plastic bottles, bottle crowns, sachet water nylons, cigarette packets, electric wires and other materials.
The top 16 finalists created miniature versions of their proposed works that were submitted for exhibition during African Culture and Design Festival, which had architects, designers and art connoisseurs from about 100 countries in attendance.
Four winners emerged at the grand finale held at the British Council in Lagos last week. They were Ifedilichukwu Chibuike who won from the Abuja zone with the entry- Devolution of Power; Samson Ogundeji from Ogun zone with the entry, Egungun; Udeh Charles from Rivers zone with the entry – Soiled Soil and Dudu Emmanuel from Lagos zone with the entry: Undressed Identity.
They were presented with cheques of N1 million each but Dudu Emmanuel who was not present at the venue was reached by phone by the organisers and he expressed excitement when he was told that he was one of the finalists.
One of the winners, Mr. Ifedilichukwu Chibuike, who hailed from Enugu state said, “This is the first time I am winning an award for creating a work of art. I am happy and overwhelmed. My name as an artist is being defined today by this award.”
Chief Marketing Officer, Sterling Bank, Mr. Henry Bassey, said ReCyclArt was initiated by the bank to inspire a new generation of Nigerian artists and the art genre.
“It is about using the power of arts to awaken the citizenry to the need for a change of attitude in how they relate to the environment and rethink how items that should be recycled can be disposed in a creative manner,” Bassey said.
He said the response to calls for entries through social media, newspapers and television was remarkable with about 630 entries received across the country, adding that the esteemed panel of judges shortlisted 16 finalists from the 630 entries received on transforming old and reusable objects into amazing pieces of contemporary art for public spaces.
One of the judges, Olu Amoda in explaining the choice of the winners said, “the contestants were asked to create works that were of cultural relevance so it was important to make a connection between the used material and the end work, in some cases where a contestant melts say, plastic before using them, the purpose is defeated.”
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