Pacers Gallery presents Phases and Faces, the second solo exhibition of Lagos based mixed-media painter, Adulphina Imuede. Phases and Faces marks the artist’s entry into the unknown, the work takes inspiration from illustrative expressions through artists like Audrey Kawasaki and Florian Nicolle.
She recontextualizes them by creating with traditional tools, while infusing them with a sense of whimsy. Although there are stylistic similarities to her previous works, two things differ. One, the artist uses acrylic more generously, a departure from her primarily oil based creations. Two, this series was borne out of uncertainty, digging into depths previously unexplored by Imuede. Faces and Phases asks what audacious hope looks like in the face of unavoidable disruption.
In I Close My Eyes to Dream (2022), the world is contained in a Black girl’s purple hair and blue dress. In them we see the capacity for beauty. The bobble head subject looks to be asleep. She really isn’t. She is doing something more interesting. She is exercising her right to audacious imagination. If she can imagine it well enough, she might just be able to change her reality. And Imuede’s series does not negotiate the female gaze as the principal viewpoint.
In creating Phases and Faces, the viewer is treated to a feverish faith in dreams and the unseen. With oil and acrylic, Imuede invites us all into the possibilities of self discovery within ourselves and within others. Inspired by uncertainty, Phases and Faces is Imuede refocusing the volatility of her physical environment into something clear, hopeful and even beautiful. The works are a tribute to grace. The audience is dared to look and find something they didn’t even know they needed.
Emotions take center stage. A cursory glance at Many Suns (2022) may mislead you to drown in the ease of two slender Black twins. But pay closer attention.
Notice the heads in the clouds, the appearance of refinement despite the subjects having half bodies. The sun as a counterfoil to the clouds. An exploration of the shifts life demands of us. Equal importance is assigned to the need to be clear and open eyed, as it is to close one’s eyes and dream fiercely. Dreams after all are what push Imuede’s work, especially in times of unprecedented global uncertainty, where chaos has defined our realities for what feels like an unending time. Faces and Phases mines through the rubble as a quest, at once situating the personal with the universal desire for peace, beauty and clarity.
Curated by Wunika Mukan.
A trained painter, Imuede is a multi-hyphenate playing with oils, watercolors and acrylics with equal competence. For one, she believes in the redeeming capacity of art and describes her process as therapeutic. A self-professed drawing enthusiast, she enjoys exploring the tensions and joys from exploring different forms of paintings. Born in Auchi, Nigeria, Adulphina Imuede locates her innermost voice through her art practice. Her family relocated to Lagos during her early childhood due to her father’s service in the Nigerian Army.
Growing up within the discipline of a military family, she picked up an interest in drawing from an early age as an outlet for unspoken emotions and desires. After completing her degree in painting at the University of Lagos in 2016, she joined the 2018 cohort of the For Creative Girls platform and worked under the mentorship of Data Oruwari.
After completing her degree in painting at the University of Lagos in 2016, she joined the 2018 cohort of the For Creative Girls platform and worked under the mentorship of Data Oruwari. In this time, Imuede explored new media to expand her practice beyond the limitations of available space and delve into more personal themes in her work.
Her practice has since evolved into a celebration of self aware ness, personal voice, and layers of identity. Utilizing ink, watercolor, gouache, colored pencil, acrylics, and chalk pastels on paper, as well as acrylic on canvas, Adulphina’s work brings to light hidden ele ments of African history and em braces a personal sense of purpose.