‘Diary of The Iron Bender’, a solo art exhibition by sculptor Steve Ekpenisi, will be at Signature Beyond Gallery, Ikoyi, from March 14 to 24.
Comprising 15 sculptures that took nine months to produce, the title was chosen to highlight the creative sides of metal artists unknown to the public.
“The art of metal is known to most people, via the works of the street’ iron benders’. The general perception is a job limited to creating steel gates, burglary proofs and few civil engineering works, but it is more than that for me,” the Artist explained.
Ekpenisi’s works are beautiful, carefully designed pieces from diverse materials that enhance the collective expression intended.
For his current solo exhibition, the materials used include discarded metals, electrical and electronic wastes and other household items that the Artist translates into exquisite shapes and forms.
The 15 sculptures also have different themes that inspire and radiates resplendence in aesthetics. For example, a headless statue of full legs and half body titled ‘Mental Slavery’ attests to the Artist’s creative energy. Chained from waist to floor, the sculpture highlights how slavery is, at times, a self-inflicted injury because people fail to expand their thoughts.
Ekpenisi doesn’t fail to celebrate virtuous women as evident in ‘Symbol of Honour’, the bust of a beautiful and elegant lady.
‘Against All Odds’, a full figure radiating energy appears to suggest that there is no insurmountable obstacle and that there would always be a way out of tight situations.
On his preference for art, Ekpenisi, a graduate of Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State, said, “I am very passionate about art, metal sculpture to be precise. I slice discarded metal sheets into smaller flat bars and units to create or weave into sculptures, forms. My form of metal sculpture is unique and distinct in the sense that I do not create armature for my sculptures.
“ I work from one part of the object to another. For instance, when I want to create a metal sculpture of any animal, I start from creating the eyeballs, and then link them to the body, then work to the limbs. I also use discarded automobile parts, cans of different products and household items for my artistic exploits.”