Ever wondered if there was a rewind button in life and there were some things you could do over? Well, I do. Every time something fantastic happens, I get greedy and I long for more. This is exactly how I felt last week because we had a long weekend in Nigeria. Our work week ended on Wednesday and we had a traffic-free Lagos for 4 whole days. That’s saying a whole lot, guys!
So in the spirit of just lounging, I went to see a play at Terra Kulture with my awesome writer friend. It was exciting to go see a play with the playwright himself… or so I thought. The people behind us were running commentaries and finishing off sentences for the actors on stage. My friend was fuming beside me – “You Nigerians are just Philistines. Can’t you just simply enjoy the art of the play without turning it into a Basket Mouth performance”. I replied that he should please calm down and stop being a snob abeg! Which one was Nigerians can’t simply enjoy art? I replied that we do enjoy art WELL!
The day before that I’d had drinks with some friends and I’d mentioned that I was going to TerraKulture and Ngozi’s response had been “Isn’t that the place where they have paintings and stuff on the wall – where people just go to stare and feel very important with themselves.” According to her, she had been dragged to an art exhibition with a friend and while they were staring at a painting her friend said “Oh look! You can actually sense the anger in the stroke of the painter’s brush!” She said “Are we looking at the same canvass? What anger biko? All I see are random lines and colors”.
After laughing so hard I remember how I’d been to an exhibition with my friend in London. It was one of these places where you don’t talk and you don’t take photos. You look at the art and indicate interest in purchase. I remember that I’d been staring at some images waiting for some deep introspect into the paintings – nothing came. My friend then had said that the taste for art came to some people naturally. He said it takes a certain culture to appreciate art. I mean, I love paintings as much as the next person but some times I don’t see those “angry strokes” too.
I asked a couple of people if they had an appreciation for art and the responses were interesting. My friend, Jill said she’d buy paintings when she became mega rich. I reminded her that if she wasn’t buying now that she was a church rat, if she started buying later she’d just be like all those noveau rich people who try too hard. Another friend said that he preferred art with abstract landscape images especially as images with humans and animals creeped him out. “There’s usually a spiritual effect with those things”. I responded that Nigerians sha found a way to link spirituality to everything.
That’s how my brother came back from NYSC after having spent 3 months at the NCCF (Nigerian Christian Corpers Fellowship) house and he was filled with the spirit. His first act was to “cleanse” our wall unit of all the “demons” in the little artifacts my mother had gathered from around the world. It was very hilarious because he was quite serious in his task – making sure to remind us that we couldn’t be sure which spirits had been residing in the little stone statuettes from India!
You gotta love Nigerians and our deep cultural and religious attachments! Anyway, I shall love you and leave you at this point. Don’t forget to tell me if you’re a lover of the arts and if you have an appreciation for the “finer things of life”. Do you believe that Nigerians are not inherently artistic or is it more of an upbringing/ acquired taste thing?
Have a beautiful week ahead. Remember to keep your head up and have a fabulous week ahead.
Peace, love & cupcakes!
Photo Credit: beforeitsnews.com