Polartics is a virtual exhibition that replicates the experience of visiting an art exhibition in person. The experience is guided by a playlist, which accompanies the artwork as you stroll through the gallery. The brains behind the project, Oyinkana Dada, were inspired to create the immersive experience when she cancelled her IRL show in Lagos. She looked for ways to replicate what she had missed out on and stumbled upon the world of virtual tours and art fairs.
Oyinkansola Dada is the founder of the polartics gallery, a semi-digital space that showcases and sells contemporary African art. The gallery represents emerging Black artists and focuses on selling both original works and prints. The website offers a virtual exhibition tour and a wide selection of works. Original pieces are available for purchase for PS150 and prints start at PS500.
Polartics aims to foster the growth of contemporary African art through the promotion of Pan-African approaches and the disassociation of its work from appropriation. It first opened its doors at the Centre Pompidou in 1989, and was a landmark exhibition in the history of global north-south relations. It inspired a generation of critical reflection and remains one of the most controversial exhibitions of contemporary African art.
Polartics started as a blog on African art, politics, and culture, but later re-grouped as a gallery dedicated to contemporary African art. The first exhibition featured works by emerging Nigerian talents. The exhibition was a reflection of the changing influences in Nigeria’s culture, and featured works from a wide variety of emerging artists.
Oyinkansola Dada’s vision for polartics
Oyinkansola Dada is a Nigerian-born, London-based art curator whose DADA Gallery features contemporary black artists who tackle divisive themes. The gallery’s mission is to present a diverse selection of works from African creators to international audiences. She started the project after running a blog about African literature, culture, and politics called POLARTICS.
In 2015, Polartics began as a blog dedicated to African politics, culture, and art. Since then, it has merged into an online gallery dedicated to contemporary African art. Its mission is to showcase emerging contemporary talent that is exceptional and boundaries-pushing.
The gallery’s vision
The gallery’s mission is to support young African artists and showcase their work to the world. In doing so, it rejects the traditional western art system and gives space to new African perspectives. As a consequence, Polartics is a vital platform for young artists from Africa. The gallery is currently operating out of pop-up spaces in London and Lagos.
Initially, Polartics started as a blog dedicated to African politics and culture, and it has grown into a thriving online art gallery. It also hosts occasional pop-up exhibitions in order to provide new artists and audiences with a space to experiment and create. Polartics showcases a diverse range of emerging African artists, exploring a variety of themes and inviting the public to engage critically with the work.
Polartics is committed to engaging artists from the millennial generation and promoting their work, focusing on themes that resonate with this generation. It seeks talent from all over the world, seeking works that stray from conventional artistic practices and tackle divisive themes. This makes Polartics unique, because it is not affiliated with institutional galleries and can create its own network of collectors.
Polartics is an arts and design organisation that represents emerging artists from Africa and the diaspora. With a focus on contemporary art, Polartics explores a range of themes and seeks to create a space where young voices are heard. In order to achieve this, the organisation creates immersive art experiences that engage diverse audiences. It also prioritises the rigorous contextualisation of young contemporary art.
Polartics was founded in Lagos two years ago, but has since expanded its mission by opening a space in London. The gallery recently presented a retrospective of works by Ekene Emeka-Maduka, and was sold out almost immediately. The owner of Polartics knew this before she left, but it’s a sign that the public is increasingly recognizing the work of artists of African descent.
Founded by polartics is a platform for young artists of colour and African diaspora to exhibit their work. It is a new kind of gallery, which takes a fresh and experimental approach to curating contemporary art. The platform showcases the diverse voices of young artists and creates a platform for these artists to explore their creativity and find collectors.
In addition to showcasing African art, Polartics also organises exhibitions and events online. The gallery also hosts pop-up exhibitions in Lagos, and travels from one location to another to minimize costs while creating constantly changing artistic spaces. The gallery’s mission is to support the arts and promote African culture.
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