"Moodscapes" engages the interplay between internal landscapes and external environments, enticing the viewer's intimate associations and memories - an invitation to notice universal feelings and emotions that fit into our individual schema and beyond.Through a series of portraiture, Sholola ventures into an interrogation of the interior landscapes of the human mind; shifting from a reflection of her inner journey to an exploration of the moods and emotional states of her subjects. Her minimalistic approach is not merely an aesthetic choice but a philosophical one; intentionally adopting thin, unfinished strokes and her signature application of tea leaf extracts, ink, and charcoal to capture the emotive potentiality of her subjects' moods in various contexts. Sholola's stripped-down visual elements convey intensities in simple outlines and strokes, while the negative space amplifies the emotional resonance of the paintings, allowing us to immerse ourselves in the emotional landscape of people featured in the works.Further capturing the intimate and unseen moments that inspire Sholola's work, Moodscapes evokes an underlying melancholic tone, prompting contemplations on the deeper meanings behind each composition. In the works exhibited, Sholola's figures are placed at the edge of the paper, creating the impression that they are part of an ongoing event unfolding outside the frame, while exuding a vignette-like quality that adds a sense of mystery and intrigue. Each work in the exhibition functions as a portal to a particular mood or feeling, whether it be joy, sadness, anger, or contemplation.At its core ,"Moodscapes" epitomises an expressiveness that resists description in words and defies precise labels, offering viewers an invitation to partake in silent dialogues with the subjects and imagine what they might be thinking or feeling or trying to express.
IN THE ARTIST'S OWN WORDS“With this set of works, the people in the works appear to be part of an ongoing conversation. I imagine an internal dialogue taking place in that moment for each portrait. I'm inviting the viewer to partake in these silent conversations and cause them to imagine what the people in the portraits are thinking, doing or trying to say.
I'm inspired by private unseen moments; moments when we are lost in thoughts, brooding, or in prayer or reflection. I want to showcase some of those moments, strip down everything so one can focus on the mood. The magnitude of the empty space and simple lines also helps to amplify the emotion.
The images are placed at the edge of the paper to somehow describe an ongoing event occurring outside of what we can see. Like a shot of a moment in time in their world/ environment. Like a vignette of some sort.”
LAJU SHOLOLAB. 1989 | Lives and works in Lagos, NigeriaLaju Sholola is a self-taught visual artist whose practice oscillates between painting and drawing. Using an unorthodox organic medium - black tea with ink and charcoal, she creates variations of fluid brown tones on the skins of her subjects and the world in which they exist as a form of mark making, to simultaneously depict the vulnerabilities of human experiences and our involuntarily shifting realities.Sholola's works engage with themes of visibility, vulnerability and strength that focus on the intimate expressions and moods of women to capture the uncertainties and hope in their journey of self-discovery. Her work seeks to explore the complexities of our distinct paths to self-actualization and incite a submission to and a celebration of these journeys as a larger resolve. Her aggregate message acknowledges the dichotomy of the constant tension between self-identity and collectivism.Her works have been showed in the exhibition Primary Textures In my Fellings at Pacers Gallery, Lagos (2021) and in the group exhibition Serenity at Mitochondria Gallery, Texas (2022). Sholola's works was presented at Art X Lagos fair in 2022 by The Art Pantheon Gallery (Lagos).
MOODSCAPES: LAJU SHOLOLA
Kanbi Projects is delighted to present the third edition of its Launchpad series titled “Moodscapes” in collaboration with Nigerian artist, Laju Sholola.
Showing seven works from an ongoing body of work by Sholola, the exhibition seeks to highlight the centrality of emotions to the human experience. The use of muted colours, subtle lines, and negative space in the exhibited works creates a sense of stillness, inviting the viewer to reflect on the emotions being portrayed; conveying meaning without the need for words.