the artist struggle through the grief from the kidnap of his only son
Bona Ezeudu (B. 1956) is known for his expressive canvas and board paintings and his utilitarian and ornamental wrought iron sculptures. With his expressive and stylistic explorations Ezeudu presented a travelling exhibition titled A Box of Delights at Thought Pyramid Arts Centre, Abuja in 2015, where he showed his recent experiment with conventional painting media. This exhibition uses selected works from the exhibition to narrate how the artist struggled through the grief from the kidnap of his only son and how he turned to his studio as a solace and fought depression through painting.
Bona Ezeudu has spent a greater part of his career advocating for the arts; he established a modern art gallery in Enugu – the Bona Gallery – which provided support for emerging artists. For at least three decades, enthusiasts of Nigeria’s visual arts scene have been familiar with the name Bona Ezeudu. In the mid-1980s, Mr. Ezeudu emerged as a sought-after artist, a member of the highly regarded Aka circle of artists whose inaugural exhibition held in 1986. For a while, it seemed a safe bet that only diminished personal drive could possibly stand between Bona and a soaring career as an artist. Then on September 26, 2009, he and his wife Ngozi, a teacher, received a very sad news. It was the kidnap of their 19-year-old son, Lotachukwu – Lota, as family and friends called him. One casualty of Lota’s disappearance was that Bona’s artistic creations ceased. For more than three years, he devoted his time entirely to ensuring that those responsible for harming his son were brought to justice. A consummate artist, it was for Bona a huge sacrifice to have to put aside his art to find justice.
Photographs by Nnaemeka Egwuibe and Iheanyichukwu Onwuegbucha.
Image copyrights: Bona Ezeudu.
Exhibition created by the staff of Thought Pyramid Art Centre.