Ibiyinka Alao

Ajaga

Ca. 2000
35.5" x 47.5"
Tempera

It all started with a casual walk to the river bank. My mind was heavy and my head was filled with visions. All I wanted to do was to find an insight that will help me to translate my thoughts into a colourful picture. Then behold a most strange site. The thing I had been looking for right there in front of me. These men were making music by the river bank. Ordinarily, this would not have meant much to me, but a stranger thing was that there was a woman with her small child in the middle if all the festivities. She was everything sad. Could it be that she wanted quite so her child could sleep? Isn�t it possible that mother and child were hungry?

This strange site produced a thought in my head, and that thought alarmed me. I asked my maker "Dear God, why are you showing this to me? For I can see so much joy and yet so much sadness". Then I remembered the war which I had witnessed four years ago in Jos, and how I confessed afterwards "God I am a poor lad in search of a purpose I know, I have only been sent to the Devil. But know this for sure, I shall go to the Devil to fight for the Almighty". When I recalled this, then I knew that there was a divine purpose for this sight.

Man is not free until he gets connected to the source that sets free. There is a voice calling �Come unto me all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Cast your yoke upon me and learn from me, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light, and you will find rest for your soul�. When I made this painting, I had the freedom that comes as a result of being connected with the blood of life in mind. We become matured when we realize that as powerful as we may seem, as free as we may think we are, we cannot do all things and so we have our limitations. But when we make an alliance with one who is love then we can do much. It may be a Nation, a friend or a brother, but when we are united, we can move mountains. A closer look will reveal to us an experience in this painting which is a conglomeration of the excitements and the burdens of life between the two faces yoked together by the blood of life. It is all about getting ourselves into something we can't get out of, in order to get freedom in life.

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