Da-Silva stands with some of his works
Seven years have passed since artiste, Raul Olawale Da Silva, held his last show in Lagos but this time, Da Silva is determined to make a statement that will hold meaning long after it has ended.
Still holding at the Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos, Da Silva?s exhibition of new paintings in a solo art exhibition titled Inner worlds outer space is really not part of the usual in this part of the world. The collection is in two parts and will feature in the care series outputs and works influenced by science fictions and movies.
As part of the unconventional nature of his person and art, Da Silva could be found in uncommon terrains like skating, performance and installation art. At a sneak preview in Lagos recently, he said a huge part of the impressions in his senses are part his growing up in Lagos, with a visit to the studio of the towering artiste, Professor Bruce Onobrakpeya, in the company of his father remaining with him in an indelible manner.
According to the Lucerne, Switzerland-based Nigerian artist, the Lagos beach as well is a major attraction and source of inspiration to him each time he visits Lagos.
?When I start a piece of work, I mark the canvas in a somewhat unpremeditated way. Sometimes, I use natural markings that are already present. These marks are orientation points from which I start my quest of creating the right tension, balance, imbalance, and rhythm. This changes constantly while I work, as I incorporate seemingly random movements, which are, however, very controlled. I adapt to the creation emerging on the canvas by carefully adding layers of colors which I work on over and over again, from different angles and sides.
?This process enables me to react to situations during production, and to use varied materials that set me free to express multifaceted ideas and stories. These stories are affected, dominated, connected and guided by my state of mind made up of memories, reflections, observation, smell, taste and many other influences?.
Unlike many in his field however, his journey in the world of visual expression had its beginning in summer art classes at the National Museum, Onikan Lagos. He had the opportunity of parents who had a deep appreciation of traditional and modern art and who went further to create a home environment full of paintings and sculptures of masters of the art for him, a rare privilege indeed.
With 38 paintings available for the purpose of this show, the overwhelming intensity of the battle of colours, spaces of tight and profuse strokes and patterns, interspersed with calm, languid moments of yellow and shades of blue, white and red are very vivid.
Da Silva followed his tutelage as a child at the National Museum at Onikan with four years of in-depth apprenticeship in cabinet making, and thereafter bagged an arts degree from the prestigious School of Applied Arts in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Apart from Fine Art, he is a skilled freestyle snowboarder, street skater and surfer who said he has honed his technique to the level of an expert. His passion for music and the outdoors, coupled with his deep understanding of the forces of nature, stand in good stead as one who is skilled about how to interprete and respond to his ?outer space?.
His commitment to environmental protection and the need to safeguard the Lagos coastline also would be music to the ears of those who hold forth at the State?s Ministry of the Environment and this has led him to begin working on a large installation of found objects, which were discovered while scouring the beach landscape.
The time frame of the exhibition itself is uncommon; having started since early June, it will run till September 9 and is sponsored by Deutsche Bank, First Hydrocarbon Nigeria Ltd (FHN), Global Energy Company Ltd (GEC) and the Wheatbaker, all corporate entities, which have a strong art focus as part of their corporate social responsibility, and who are keenly watching emerging artists in Africa.