Olufela Omokeko: Nigerian artist relives pandemic lockdowns from the pepper’s eyes

Young Nigerian artist Olufela Omokeko is using his skill to depict a struggle thrusted upon the common consumer by the coronavirus pandemic.

In one of his presentations, Omokeko used the pepper, an item that highlighted the essential nature of food during Nigeria’s pandemic lockdowns, to relive the consumer’s ordeal.

“This installation is a visual representation of consumers’ struggle for essential commodities during the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Omokeko told The Realm News.

“The compulsory lockdown initiated to curtail the widespread of the virus had a negative effect on consumers particularly the conveying of essential commodities between state.

Art by Olufela Omokeko.

“My presentations serve as reflections of this period and at the same time a moment of reconnection with my engagement with the material as an artist,” he said.

Art by Olufela Omokeko.

The talented artist used a pepper variety of all shades and ripeness to draw attention to the fact that the coronavirus directly or indirectly affects people of all age, creed, race and status.

Some of the presentations hang from a ceiling, an imagery that depicts how the fate of the world hangs in a balance as the current decade ushers in an unexpected pandemic.

Olufela Omokeko heads the media and communications team at Iwaya Community Art Festival (ICAF), Lagos. He is also the station manager of Vernacular Art-space Laboratory (VAL) Foundation.

His “corona art” is representative of the array of unimpeachable talent that spreads across Nigeria’s young and vibrant demography.

Rotimi Akinola

Rotimi is a multimedia journalist and editor of The Realm News.

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