The Comforter (2013) by Olawunmi BanjoOriginal Source: Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art
Olawunmi Banjo was born in 1985 and is a self-taught Nigerian visual artist who studied Entrepreneurship at the Pan African University in Lagos.
The 'Comforter' portrays a reverse role of mother and child. In a society where parents are expected to be strong and hide their own emotions for the sake of their children. Here, the child serves as a comforter to his mother.
According to the artist; "children, most times, tend to notice difficult situations faced by their parents and are moved to express kindness in its purest form."
The strength and vulnerability in the gazes of son and mother respectively, seems to say 'don't you worry, everything will be fine'.
The figures in the painting are the artist's sister and nephew. They are portrayed with a keen attention to detail.
From the glistening, neatly trimmed hair on the head of the boy....
...to the wrinkles on the forehead of his mother.
The delicate and neatly ordered brush strokes speak volumes of a highly meticulous artist.
The force of attraction of this painting lies, perhaps, in the familiarity of its figures.
We have all been there. We have played at least one, perhaps both roles, at some point in our lives.
Olawunmi Banjo, artist: Michael Oseghale, Museum Manager.