• TOWARDS THE LIGHT BY IBE ANANABA 

  • Towards The Light is a solo exhibition of recent works by painter-philosopher Ibe Ananaba, which brings solace at a time of emotional and political fatigue as we near the end of a very challenging year. While the constraints on our lives in the midst of the corona pandemic are not relenting, and we sustain our support for Nigeria's inspiring youth movement calling for good governance and an end to police brutality. Ananaba's works remind us to continue to tap into the power of community, and the hope, vitality and pure creative energy of our visionary, impatient youth. 

     

    An exhibition of paintings and drawings, Towards the Light is grounded in an avant-garde musical track, which encapsulates the rhythm of a generation seeking answers to fundamental questions about identity and equality, democracy, racism and the right to choose who leads us.

     

    Ananaba graduated from the Institute of Management & Technology (IMT) Art School in 1999, with a distinction in painting, and spent the early part of his career working in advertising, honing his technique and artistry as a fashion illustrator, designer, caricaturist, portraitist and art director, before becoming a full time studio artist. 

     

    Over the years, Ananaba's art has provided a critical commentary to the state of global and local socio-politics.  During the months of the corona lock down, he kept busy in his studio, a safe cocoon in which music inspired each brush stroke as he painted to drown out the insecurity, the anxiety, the uncertainty, and keep the pandemic at bay. His subjects are presented in strong contrast, with powerful sources of light, which act as sheaves of hope filtering through dark spaces.

     

    His large canvases depict children running across his canvas with arms spread out in full flight, reminding us to give life to dreams of an equitable future. He also paints isolated figures in retreat, waiting, reading, sleeping, thinking, hoping, dreaming, some with their heads doused in furious red colors, demanding more than the  status quo. He renders his subjects with deft impressionistic brushstrokes beckoning us to rediscover our internal peace, away from the rush of our noisy, complex lives. Ananaba's work circles back to the mantra that despite the apparent darkness, we need to keep moving towards the light.

    • Ibe Ananaba, AMIDST THE NOISE 1, 2020
      Ibe Ananaba, AMIDST THE NOISE 1, 2020
    • Ibe Ananaba, AMIDST THE NOISE 2, 2020
      Ibe Ananaba, AMIDST THE NOISE 2, 2020
    • Ibe Ananaba, AMIDST THE NOISE 3, 2020
      Ibe Ananaba, AMIDST THE NOISE 3, 2020
    • Ibe Ananaba, THE PROMISOR AND PRAISE SINGERS 2, 2019
      Ibe Ananaba, THE PROMISOR AND PRAISE SINGERS 2, 2019
    • Ibe Ananaba, THE PROMISOR AND PRAISE SINGERS 1, 2019
      Ibe Ananaba, THE PROMISOR AND PRAISE SINGERS 1, 2019
    • Ibe Ananaba, THE PROMISOR AND PRAISE SINGERS 4, 2019
      Ibe Ananaba, THE PROMISOR AND PRAISE SINGERS 4, 2019
  • His All Will Be Well series shows isolated figures in retreat, waiting, reading, sleeping, thinking, hoping, dreaming, some with their heads doused in furious red colors, yearning for more. His works respond to a mental soundscape of “can’t sleep, can’t hug, can’t shake, can’t cope, can’t breathe, “  which came to a crescendo during the Black Lives Matter protests, where the “Ultra-Black” sound track by Nas, the African-American rapper, became a rallying cry through Ananaba’s art.  But finally, his work circles back to the mantra that “all will be well” and that, despite the darkness, we need to keep moving towards the light.
    His All Will Be Well series shows isolated figures in retreat, waiting, reading, sleeping, thinking, hoping, dreaming, some with their...
    • Ibe Ananaba, ALL WILL BE WELL 1, 2020
      Ibe Ananaba, ALL WILL BE WELL 1, 2020
    • Ibe Ananaba, ALL WILL BE WELL 3, 2020
      Ibe Ananaba, ALL WILL BE WELL 3, 2020
    • Ibe Ananaba, ALL WILL BE WELL 2, 2020
      Ibe Ananaba, ALL WILL BE WELL 2, 2020
    • Ibe Ananaba, ALL WILL BE WELL 4, 2020
      Ibe Ananaba, ALL WILL BE WELL 4, 2020
    • Ibe Ananaba, ALL WILL BE WELL 5, 2020
      Ibe Ananaba, ALL WILL BE WELL 5, 2020
    • Ibe Ananaba, ALL WILL BE WELL 7, 2020
      Ibe Ananaba, ALL WILL BE WELL 7, 2020
    • Ibe Ananaba, ALL WILL BE WELL 6, 2020
      Ibe Ananaba, ALL WILL BE WELL 6, 2020
    • Ibe Ananaba, ALL WILL BE WELL 10, 2020
      Ibe Ananaba, ALL WILL BE WELL 10, 2020
    • Ibe Ananaba, ALL WILL BE WELL 8, 2020
      Ibe Ananaba, ALL WILL BE WELL 8, 2020
  • 'Ananaba's dexterity with the palette knife in bringing to light our daily lives is incomparable to no other artist of...
    "Ananaba's dexterity with the palette knife in bringing to light our daily lives is incomparable to no other artist of his generation. This new body of works succinctly captures both the gloom and hope of our current existence. The anchor and beauty that tie it all together is the optimism that "Towards The Light" portends for all of us." 
     
    Victor Ehikhamenor 
    Artist & Founder, Angels & Muse, Lagos 
    • Ibe Ananaba, WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? 3, 2019
      Ibe Ananaba, WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? 3, 2019
    • Ibe Ananaba, TOWARDS THE LIGHT 2, 2020
      Ibe Ananaba, TOWARDS THE LIGHT 2, 2020
    • Ibe Ananaba, RISE AGAIN, 2019
      Ibe Ananaba, RISE AGAIN, 2019
    • Ibe Ananaba, VANTAGE VIEW, 2019
      Ibe Ananaba, VANTAGE VIEW, 2019
    • Ibe Ananaba, NEIGHBOURHOOD TALES 1, 2019
      Ibe Ananaba, NEIGHBOURHOOD TALES 1, 2019
    • Ibe Ananaba, DAILY BREAD 1, 2019
      Ibe Ananaba, DAILY BREAD 1, 2019
  • My ideation process starts from the mind. I like to have sheets of paper around me or a sketchpad. Whatever...
    My ideation process starts from the mind. I like to have sheets of paper around me or a sketchpad. Whatever I think of, my first response is to hit the sketchpad to put it in lines, to see how it comes out, then the progression follows suit. I like to ask questions, I like to experiment. For me, the whole process is about searching, searching out the truth.