Overtly characterised by the subject matter and themes that Okpu-Egbe considers relevant to the times, this exhibition contains works whose thought provoking social commentary are deeply embedded in semi abstract Afro-surreal figurative expressions voicing an urgent need to boost parallel structures for: “resisting injustice, demanding accountability, documenting events and generating awareness.”
For this exhibition, Okpu-Egbe presents us with works that compel reflection and discussion to address issues regarding climate change, patriarchy, hate, racism, “occupation” and the struggles for independence in Ambazonia, West Papua and West Sahara. The Israel Palestinian conflict as well as the wars in Syria, the Central African Republic, and the genocide carried out on the Rohingyas in Myanmar by the regime. The artworks do not only intend to highlight “struggles”, they go further to act as a call to rally support and resistance, advocacy for justice and above all, solidarity with those ho bear the brunt of most conflicts – notably women, children, the less abled, the elderly and Prisoners of Conscience.
Although Okpu-Egbe is aware that the process of artistic creation does not come nicely packaged for philosophical preferences and wishes, especially as an Afro-surrealist – Expressionist (who considers creativity to be both a mystical and metaphorical process,) he remains determined to unfold these themes during this exhibition. Okpu-Egbe aims to use the exhibition as a platform to implore other Afro-surrealists to “seek ye first the ‘woke’ realms of the objective part of their creative process, as experience has taught him; the ‘lit’ of artistic satisfaction, entertainment, and creative appreciation in the modern era shall be added unto you.”
He further intends to explore notions of ‘White Supremacy’, torture, solitary confinement in prisons, as well as police brutality, with specific reference to circumstances surrounding the death of lesser publicised cases, like that of Gugsa Abraham. Okpu-Egbe also reflects on Francafrique, neo-colonialism, which he interprets as echoes of historical and current voices of victory, legacy and inspiration amidst social struggles that are often seen as herculean tasks to both perpetrators and those committed to continuous advocacy and activism for example in the light of ‘Black Lives Matter’
and the global social justice movement.