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Nigerian multifaceted artist Raji Bamidele brings exhibition home

Absa Africa is proud to announce that the exhibition “The Melodious Struggle of Souls and Consciousness” by multi-disciplinary and self-taught multifaceted Nigerian artist Raji Bamidele is finally coming home. The exhibition forms part of the Absa L’Atelier, in collaboration with the South African National Association with the Visual Arts (SANAVA). Raji is the 2019 Absa L’Atelier Ambassador. He aims to take local art enthusiasts on an immersive journey into the profound depths of human existence – some of which may be familiar to many – with his latest solo exhibition.
Bamidele draws inspiration from the Yoruba people and their belief system. The Yoruba people, which are a West African ethnic group who inhabit parts of Nigeria, Benin, and Togo, believe that the soul, consciousness, and spirit are intricately interconnected facets of the human experience. His artwork encapsulates the concept that the soul embodies the mind, which reflects the heart, and the heart extends the soul and spirit. This interconnectedness forms the basis for a deeper understanding of oneself and the world.
Dr. Paul Bayliss, Absa’s Senior Specialist: Art and Museum Curator, highlights the vital role played by the arts to society and support for the industry is pivotal, especially for young Africans. “The arts sector in Africa is increasingly becoming an important economic sector, not only for the potential it holds for opportunities for young people, but for its ability to shape narrative for the future of the continent. The UNDP recognises the need to support the arts for their potential to lift many Africans out of poverty and to help transform how the global community sees the continent”, said Bayliss.
“Bamidele’s unique story is testament to this reality. His talent, self-taught and multifaceted, proves that the continent is home for incredibly special and talented young people. And, that once these stories are unearthed, more young people on the continent can resonate with the story, be inspired by the success, and work in similar fashion to contribute significantly to this continent.”
The exhibition will open in the Alliance Francais Gallery in Lagos to the public on Saturday, 22 June and run until 13 July 2024.
Absa believes in supporting the arts on the continent, living up to the brand promise of “Your Story Matters,” in recognition of stories such as those of Bamidele, told through art. The Absa L’Atelier is a prestigious recognition in the art world, named after the iconic South African artist Gerard Sekoto. This Award serves as a platform for emerging artists to highlight their work on an international stage, affirming Absa’s commitment to supporting and nurturing artistic talent, fostering cultural exchange, and celebrating the diversity of expression within the African art community.

About Absa L’Atelier
The Absa L’Atelier is about affording the winning artist(s) with the relevant skillset to develop and thrive as an artist in a forever changing world. The Absa L’Atelier is hosted annually by Absa in partnership with the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA).
Every year emerging visual artists from across Africa are given the opportunity to showcase their talents through the Absa L’Atelier. Additionally, the competition offers them a platform to explore themes and contemporary issues, while setting the stage to bring their possibilities to life. One only must look at the past winning artists who have become Ambassadors, to see how winning the Absa L’Atelier has helped to launch their careers and to grow their craft on a global stage.
Artists, aged 21 to 40, who are citizens, permanent residents and living in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, the Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia, are eligible to enter for the competition.
For further information about Absa L’Atelier, visit www.latelier.absa.africa.

About Absa Group Limited
Absa Group Limited (‘Absa Group’) is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and is one of Africa’s largest diversified financial services groups. Absa Group offers an integrated set of products and services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking, wealth and investment management and insurance.
Absa Group owns majority stakes in banks in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania (Absa Bank Tanzania and National Bank of Commerce), Uganda and Zambia and has insurance operations in Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zambia. Absa also has representative offices in China, Namibia, Nigeria, and the United States, as well as securities entities in the United Kingdom and the United States, along with technology support colleagues in the Czech Republic.

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