An astute artist, Mr Ocheche Agbo, has canvassed for the use of art for peace building and development in the country, saying art can also directly nurture a peace process by providing a voice to marginalised or oppressed groups, whilst enhancing the relevance and legitimacy of the process itself.
A statement made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday in Abuja, ahead of his forthcoming solo art exhibition entitled, “The time for Peace”, Agbo said art provides a unique platform and opportunity for understanding one another. He stressed the need for everyone to keep playing their part to bring about desired peace and development for the betterment of society.
According to Agbo, “One essential quality of peace building is the understanding of one another. And art provides such a platform for viewers to have a new and or better understanding of each other socially, culturally, and politically.”
Agbo said he choose the theme for the 7th October exhibition as his contribution to the search for peace through the transformation of the canvas from the pedestrian into profound thought-provoking works of art.
He said, “This exhibition is about peace building as the world desperately seeks peace and security more than ever and requires all to participate as peace remains the strongest tool for the optimal transformation of the society for human potentials to flourish.”
Using an Idoma folklore, “Elakeche” a feminine name meaning mysteries of life, Agbo illustrates, a ravishing beauty that attracts several suitors, among these suitors were three notable ones, each of the three has a unique comparative advantage in their quest for her hand in marriage.
“One suitor has mysterious powers embedded in a mirror with the capacity to tell the past, present, and the future, another is affluent and owns a powerful horse. And yet another owns a mystery ointment that can resuscitate the dead but is effective only before sunset.
“The folklore holds that Elakeche, unknown to her suitors however falls ill and died in a distant location. The mysterious mirror revealed the bad news to all stakeholders.”
He said the challenge confronting all her suitors is how to reach her before sunset to apply the mystery ointment.
He said, “The quest to have Elakeche resuscitated entail; knowledge of her state of being, reaching her before sunset, and her resuscitation. Eventually, bringing Elakeche back to life involves a synergy of the trio.
“Elakeche, in the mind of the artist, is a metaphor for peace in our communities, our societies, our countries, and the entire globe, where peace is been taken to pieces. For peace in our communities, our countries to be resuscitated, there must be exertions from all and sundry.”