Female visual artist displays unrivalled artistic prowess
By Mohamed Faray Kargbo
The display of visual works of art at the National Museum that evening was spectacular by any standard. Amigo Arts, a local painting company had brought together a collection of works that they recently produced. It was a perfect exhibition of Sierra Leone’s culture as evidenced in the collections. From paintings depicting family life in the rural setting to sunset in a serene beach environment, the drawings were remarkable.
Put together by Lydia Panda, the collections brought together Sierra Leone’s diverse culture and heritage in one place. Lydia confided that the paintings were created in collaboration with her father, Winston Panda who has been in the arts for some decades. Such is the selflessness of the father that he thought the only way he could sustain his knowledge was to hand down his skills to his daughter, Lydia. What better way to hand down knowledge from one generation to another than to train his daughter the art of painting!
Lydia Panda, a final year student of the College of Travel and Tourism Studies had added value to the works by registering Amigo Arts as a business, something her father had been doing in a rather informal way. Her desire is to take Amigo Arts to places in the not-too-distant future. One of such moves is the collaboration with the Sierra Leone National Museum.
The National Museum through the Acting Curator, Madam Josephine Kargbo had collaborated with Lydia Panda to exhibit her visual arts gallery for the next two weeks. Various stakeholders enjoyed and appreciated the exhibition. Speaker after speaker marveled at the paintings which they trust can transform the tourism industry if promoted.
Madam Isatu Smith, Chairperson of the Monuments and Relics Commission said that the works were a spectacle to behold not least because they were painted by a woman. The doyen of culture and arts in Sierra Leone, Charlie Haffner speaking on behalf of Dr Julius Spencer revealed that the beauty of a work of art lies in the sensation that they create. He congratulated the artist for a splendid show.
Unveiled by the Director of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Foday Jalloh, the work of art left on-lookers in awe as they gazed through the artistic images. Director Jalloh couldn’t conceal his amazement at what he saw especially when they were made by a woman. “This is adding value to our work and its rhymes with the Ministry’s thinking of catching them young.” For him, this was the first time a female artist was displaying artistic prowess.
The event which took place on the 27th July, 2017 at the National Museum, Siaka Stevens Street was not only well appreciated but also widely acclaimed as a masterpiece. According to Miss Panda the paintings are on sale as interested individuals can view and buy them. The gallery is up at the National Museum for the next two weeks.
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12Ann-Marie Kamara, Constantine Tenefoe and 10 others