Equal Rights

24 January - 20 March 2016

In “Equal Rights”, Mr. Mike Omoighe offers an invitation to let go, claim our creative space, and allow his dynamic images and narratives to wash over us. The theme of this solo art exhibition, Unule Unuile Ozese, is a philosophy of the Esan People meaning 'Equal Rights'. It is a visual narrative on the delicate balance of love and power in life. Mr. Omoighe is presenting two viewpoints from his sketches and jotting diary; first is the implication of military rule in Nigeria and second is the cultural object of Ukpo-Esan-Fibre art in the Igbabonelimi masquerader's costumes. The pieces presented are charcoal sketches on paper and paintings on canvas.

He has presented the acrobatic pulsating energy of masquerades dancing wildly under the noonday sun in a few deft, minimalist strokes of charcoal dancing lightly over paper. What some have found most fascinating is how Mr. Omoighe has depicted this traditional performance art through the sketches and taken it many steps further. He has used the symbol of the masquerade to shed light on its' role in traditional dispute settlement, ensuring that the excesses within the traditional community were regularly pruned and brought into check. This then is his way of commenting on how our political history is a story of greed and power that has corrupted, reminding us that we have failed to learn from our rich heritage of traditional philosophy of equal rights.