3:13 pm - Saturday December 16, 1679

NIGERIAN DESIGNED FLYING GIRLS’ ART WORKS RULE THE WORLD: LAGOS State Born Arts GENIUS, PEJU ALATISE WINS South African Most Famous Arts Prize…Displayed exhibit at the tenth annual FNB Joburg Art Fair *HAD various early paintings, later sculptures and current installations in event *South Africa’s leading art ceremony featured over 60 exhibitions across five categories, including traditional and modern art. Artists and cultural organisations from 11 countries witnessed history *Got nominated for the award by Johannesburg’s Red Door Gallery * Featured in Smithsonian Institute of African Art in United States, Venice Biennale in Italy and around the world, Earlier interviewed on CNN * “Alatise’s work was a fine representation of the bank’s commitment to art in Africa. We recognise that artistic expression involves creativity and imagination, which we know to be key drivers of innovation…”-Aneesa Razack, CEO of FNB Share Investing, Sponsor of the award/event BY TIMI OLOYEDE/ARTS REPORTER, PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA

NIGERIAN DESIGNED FLYING GIRLS’ ART WORKS RULE THE WORLD:

LAGOS State Born Arts GENIUS, PEJU ALATISE WINS South African Most Famous Arts Prize…Displayed exhibit at the tenth annual FNB Joburg Art Fair

*HAD various early paintings, later sculptures and current installations in event
*South Africa’s leading art ceremony featured over 60 exhibitions across five categories, including traditional and modern art. Artists and cultural organisations from 11 countries witnessed history
*Got nominated for the award by Johannesburg’s Red Door Gallery
* Featured in Smithsonian Institute of African Art in United States, Venice Biennale in Italy and around the world, Earlier interviewed on CNN
* “Alatise’s work was a fine representation of the bank’s commitment to art in Africa. We recognise that artistic expression involves creativity and imagination, which we know to be key drivers of innovation…”-Aneesa Razack, CEO of FNB Share Investing, Sponsor of the award/event

BY TIMI OLOYEDE/ARTS REPORTER, PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA

PEJU ALATISE is a huge inspiration to Nigeria, Nigerians at home and Nigerians in the diaspora by her ingenious creativity in the artistic community which has taken the world by storm lives in Republic of South Africa. Not only is she highly intelligent, her creation of ‘Flying Girls’ in art is now trending all social media platforms across the world.

Eye witness account confirmed that Alatise’s various early paintings, later sculptures and current installations was the heart of arts exhibition at the tenth annual FNB Joburg Art Fair, which held in Sandton from 8-10 September 2017. Her ‘out-of-this-world’ arts was the cynosure of all eyes.

The fair, one of South Africa’s leading art events, had in attendance over 60 exhibitions across five categories: traditional, modern art with artists and cultural representations from 11 countries, including the United States.

So overwhelmed by her creative art works, Alatise’s work was nominated for the award by Johannesburg’s Red Door Gallery. Gallery founder Bola Asiru felt that her work best communicated both the African and female experience, “Peju’s work is filled with strong societal narratives on the realities of life in Africa.”

This 42 year old Nigerian born in 1975 in Lagos, Nigeria, Alatise studied architecture before being inspired by the jarring and honest visual art of fellow Nigerian artist David Dale. She later trained with Dale, as well as worked with traditional artisans around Africa, learning to incorporate materials such as beads, cloth and natural resins into her increasingly ambitious works.

Alatise has exhibited around the world, including at the Smithsonian Institute of African Art in the US and the Venice Biennale in Italy, one of the world’s longest running and most respected art events. Her earlier paintings and more recent multimedia pieces are also in a number of private collections as well as permanent exhibits around the world.

Asiru explains: “It’s time for [her] message to be taken to the rest of Africa and there is no better platform for this than the FNB Joburg Art Fair.” Announcing her win on its website, the Art Fair describes Alatise’s work as “installations using materials such as cloth, beads, wood, cement and resin. Addressing several social, political and gender-related issues as her primary subject matter, her works have also captured the joys and pain of womanhood as experienced in modern-life-African traditions, with all their consequences. Her subject matter has evolved with her continued experiences, moving her focus from advocating the equal rights of women to broader political and philosophical issues.”

Speaking about Alatise’s winning contribution to the Joburg Art Fair, jury member Pulane Kingston from Webber Wentzel Attorneys said the judges were unanimous. “The quality of all shortlisted candidate proposals was high this year, but… Peju Alatise’s proposal… stood out. The innovative, universal social relevance and poignancy in the themes underpinning her work were some of the deciding factors in tipping the scales in her favour.

“The body of her work over the years has been varied and compositionally strong and we think that it palpably reflects the intense vibrancy of the African continent. We have no doubt that the integrity of the overall body of her work will propel her career meaningfully.”

As sponsor of the award and the event, Aneesa Razack, CEO of FNB Share Investing, said Alatise’s work was a fine representation of the bank’s commitment to art in Africa. “We recognise that artistic expression involves creativity and imagination, which we know to be key drivers of innovation… the social and political commentary of Alatise’s work embodies so much of what we hope to find in the recipient of the prize.”

In her response. Alatise reportedly said: ” [The Biennale is the] highest level of exhibiting an artist can be honoured with.” During an earlier interview on Cables News Network, CNN, Alatise reportedly said. “It is the Olympics of the arts.” The particular work exhibited in Venice, titled Flying Girls, is an eight-sculpture installation of winged girls in mid-flight, representing “a strong societal narrative on the realities faced by women in Africa. The piece was on display at the Joburg Art Fair.”

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