Celebrating the 'Woodpecker' Pius Waritimi, AMIAF 2024 Awardee

By - Miabo Enyadike


Celebrating the 'Woodpecker' Pius Waritimi, AMIAF 2024 Awardee

Once Again Congratulations to Pius Waritimi

On this award as 'The Master Carver of the Niger Delta' aka The Esteemed Woodpecker!
In its third edition, Artmiabo International Art Festival Amiaf Artfestival 2024 is showcasing specific sculpture mediums as well as celebrating select artists with awards.

One of the awardees, Pius Waritimi, a wood sculptor and academic, who is also showing at AMIAF 2024, spoke about the event, challenges of sculptors, and future of the medium.

Organised by Miabo Enyadike - led AMIAF , the yearly event, which has the 2024 edition themed, Sculptor’s Odyssey, holds from April 29 to May 1, 2024, at EbonyLife Centre, Victoria Island Lagos.
Enyadike described Waritimi as an art purist and artpreneur, who inspired many established artists. And in his post-academic career, Waritimi remains an active contributor to the art community in Rivers State and Bayelsa State.

During an interview with Waritimi, he said: “I find it innovative and will sure arouse profound interest as a way for sculptors to express themselves.”

Waritimi’s focus on art creation, while paying little attention to solo art exhibitions in a long while, has perhaps, denied him the opportunity to be captured by mainstream media.

From a media perspective, it appears that the name Pius Waritimi, has been underreported despite his immense contributions to Sculpture practice in Nigeria.

Outside the academic space, Waritimi’s list of public space art is quite impressive. Such commissioned works include,The Lady Justice in Bayelsa State capital, Yenagoa, with one at the Apex roof of the Judiciary HQ and three others at different premises of the court.

He explained that The Lady Justice, sculpted all in Fibre glass was conceptualised to represent “our traditional attire, and not the imported idea of a Lady Justice wearing gown.”

In education and studio practice, Waritimi has so much experience, spanning decades of practice. It will be of interest to know his view on why the academia produces more artists who lean towards painting than sculpture in post-training practice. Waritimi though argued that “painting does not require so much physical exaction.”

He cited his career as an example of someone who has experience of both painting and sculpting: “I graduated as a graphic art major, but my passion for sculpture, particularly, carving became overwhelming.”

Waritimi on the contrary said: “Wood is always available if you know how and where to source it. For me no wood is wasted except you don’t know the material before and what to create out of it.”

For the Sculptor’s Odyssey of AMIAF 2024, Waritimi disclosed that he will be exhibiting some experimental pieces. “The Fisherman’s Parlor and 3 other experimental piece in forms, lines and space,” he said will be included in the works he will be showing.....

Article by By Oludare Richards in the guardian through the link below


Save the date:
Artmiabo International Art Festival AMIAF, 2024
Theme: "The Sculptors Odyssey"
Date: 29th April-1st May, 2024
Venue: Ebonylife Place, Victoria Island, Lagos Nigeria.

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