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Hi, I am ABIATHAR STEPHEN OBADIAH, U15FA1024. I am a graduating student of Ahmadu Bello University, specializing in Sculpture – something I really, really love and appreciate.
I have with me here some sculptures that are obviously from the depth of my personality. I do get them done with relative ease, almost without effort – or let me say, without much effort – so ermm... I’ll take you through some of them.
With me here I have this terracotta made of fired clay. It’s a seated figure which may be interpreted in many different ways. One may say it’s portraying a frustrated person; some people may say this looks like somebody who is showing calm... a calm state of mind; to others, it looks like someone thinking, looks like loneliness... So you see, this rendition of a human figure could be objectively perceived from different angles like that. The work was accomplished using live modeling – that is, I had someone posing live while the model was done. I really like this piece, I love the finishing… it’s a good one!
Over here I have this series which is themed around Hausa Culture. Of course, I’d like to appropriate some honour to the famous Sculptor, Annachi, from whose style I got the inspiration for this series. So these figures you see here in the series are abstracting the Hausa man, the Hausa culture. I love music, so the works are abstracting the musical aspects of Hausa culture. This one here represents a man playing the “kakaki”; which is the trumpet. This one is a man listening to music through headphones, highlighting a gradual shift from our native traditions as westernization encroaches into our society. Next here is someone who is playing the “kalangu”, the talking drum. And this is “mai fura” which you can see, without any doubt or confusion, that yeah this is truly an aspect of Hausa Culture we are portraying. And then this is the pose of somebody who is blowing the “algaita”, the flute. I deliberately left it as a pose, abstract enough to let you freely fill you mind with the details.
Finally I want to talk about this elephant here. It is inspired by the realities of extinction; and that is actually the title: “Extinction”. This is produced in fibre glass, showing the detailed rough texture of the elephant skin. So we have a mother elephant and her baby elephant, which at first glance shows a shift in age, like a turn of generation. Appreciating this further, we know that humanity and nature have co-existed for long; but we also tend not to value some things until they slip away. By rendering the mother elephant and her baby going away from view, I’m trying to draw attention to the going away, the slipping away, of a specie. But we can also extend that import to apply to all other animals that are “going away” too, because we are not noticing them, not taking drastic steps to preserve them.
To conclude, I’d proudly affirm that ABU has taught me sculpture for four years now and you’ve seen the turn out looking really good – I’m impressed with myself sometimes, you know. So if you are ever willing, I’d like to invite you to come and study sculpture. Or even if not as a practitioner, you could come as somebody who admires and supports Art in general. Of course, I’d add that sculpture is one beautiful and great aspect of Art that has much to give...
Appreciating this further, we know that humanity and nature have co-existed for long; but we also tend not to value some things until they slip away. By rendering the mother elephant and her baby going away from view, I’m trying to draw attention to the going away, the slipping away, of a specie. But we can also extend that import to apply to all other animals that are “going away” too, because weABIATHAR Stephen Obadiah
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