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Nigerian multifaceted artist Raji Bamidele brings exhibition home

Absa Africa is proud to announce that the exhibition “The Melodious Struggle of Souls and Consciousness” by multi-disciplinary and self-taught multifaceted Nigerian artist Raji Bamidele is finally coming home. The exhibition forms part of the Absa L’Atelier, in collaboration with the South African National Association with the Visual Arts (SANAVA). Raji is the 2019 Absa L’Atelier Ambassador. He aims to take local art enthusiasts on an immersive journey into the profound depths of human existence – some of which may be familiar to many – with his latest solo exhibition.

(L-R) Marc Brebant, Director, Alliance Française de Lagos; Raji Bamidele, Absa L’Atelier 2019 Ambassador; Adedotun Sulaiman, Chairman, Absa Nigeria; Sadiq Abu, CEO Absa Nigeria at Absa L’Atelier 2019 Ambassador Solo Exhibition: Raji Bamidele held on Saturday, June 22, 2024 at Alliance Française de Lagos.

Bamidele draws inspiration from the Yoruba people and their belief system. The Yoruba people, which are a West African ethnic group who inhabit parts of Nigeria, Benin, and Togo, believe that the soul, consciousness, and spirit are intricately interconnected facets of the human experience. His artwork encapsulates the concept that the soul embodies the mind, which reflects the heart, and the heart extends the soul and spirit. This interconnectedness forms the basis for a deeper understanding of oneself and the world.

Dr. Paul Bayliss, Absa’s Senior Specialist: Art and Museum Curator, highlights the vital role played by the arts to society and support for the industry is pivotal, especially for young Africans. “The arts sector in Africa is increasingly becoming an important economic sector, not only for the potential it holds for opportunities for young people, but for its ability to shape narrative for the future of the continent. The UNDP recognises the need to support the arts for their potential to lift many Africans out of poverty and to help transform how the global community sees the continent”, said Bayliss.

“Bamidele’s unique story is testament to this reality. His talent, self-taught and multifaceted, proves that the continent is home for incredibly special and talented young people. And, that once these stories are unearthed, more young people on the continent can resonate with the story, be inspired by the success, and work in similar fashion to contribute significantly to this continent.”

The exhibition will open in the Alliance Francais Gallery in Lagos to the public on Saturday, 22 June and run until 13 July 2024.

Absa believes in supporting the arts on the continent, living up to the brand promise of “Your Story Matters,” in recognition of stories such as those of Bamidele, told through art. The Absa L’Atelier is a prestigious recognition in the art world, named after the iconic South African artist Gerard Sekoto. This Award serves as a platform for emerging artists to highlight their work on an international stage, affirming Absa’s commitment to supporting and nurturing artistic talent, fostering cultural exchange, and celebrating the diversity of expression within the African art community.

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