By Japhet Alakam
It was another boost for the art industry as Luxury Villas Group (LVG), the multi award winning full-service, luxury real estate brokerage and Lifestyle Company recently, hosted the inaugural edition of a future forward event, branded FREIA, an acronym for: Fusion of Real Estate, Interior Design and Art. The event, themed: ‘Next Frontiers; Building Tomorrow’s Masterpieces’, took place at the grand ballroom of the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The three part event featured an exhibition, conference and a networking cocktail. The exhibition was declared open by Mr. Gbenga Oyebode, SAN, MFR, while guests were guided on a tour of stand by the curator, Oliver Enwonwu,SNA president and director, Omenka Gallery. The exhibition featured mainly paintings and sculptures by some of the most established names in modern and contemporary Nigeria art and works by some designers. Some of the artists included, Ben Enwonwu, Bruce Onabrakpeya, Oliver Enwonwu, Kolade Oshinowo, Francis Uduh, Femi Williams, and Tola Wewe, among others.
The body of works on display speak volumes of the Nigerian art. According to the curator, Oliver Enwonwu, “ The selection of artists is based on the visual strength and content of their works, critical recognition and relevance within Nigeria art-historical context and a broader international contemporary art discourse.”
In his remarks, Mr. Oyebode who congratulated the FREIA convener, Mr. Tommy Odama, for hosting such a colourful event said: “This event is critical in our nation’s history as it signifies the revival of the arts. Today we see all parts of the arts fused here: literature, fine arts and design. In Nigeria, we are beginning to see a lot of our designers pay attention to local works and implements. This is a great time to be a Nigerian, this is a great time to be reading Nigerian literature. This is the essence of this event, this fusion of real estate, interior design and arts and I believe we should celebrate it.”
On his part,the convener of FREIA and Chief Host of the event, Mr. Tommy Odama, who pointed out that FREIA is going to be an annual event that will raise the bar for real estate events in Nigeria said, “it is something borne out of passion, my zeal for real estate, art and interior and architecture. We believe that there is synergy, there is a co-existence between the three aspects of lifestyle that is real estate, interior and art because they all complement each other, so we are creating a discourse around them. To create that awareness among people that what makes a piece of beautiful real estate is the other aspects that comes to play, not just the building because the building is a structure but the beauty of a complete world class property is what you see when go inside the building itself and you see the way things are laid out.”
Speaking on how FREIA can improve the Nigerian art industry, Oliver Enwonwu said: “The FREIA event is a good development. Today, we see art linked to wealth, real estate and interior design. It disrupts the myopia of seeing arts as purely decorative, something you just place on the wall. We should start seeing that art can be linked to such industries. The link is very clear.. For instance, many corporate organisations buy art, and some of them provide the funds for the development.”
The exhibition was followed by the conference and the networking cocktail. The highpoint of the gala was the unveiling of ‘Villas & Leisure’ magazine led by Tommy Odama, flanked by Titi Ogufere, CEO, Essential Interiors Consultancy, and a few of his associates. The magazine features the best of Nigeria’s real estate, art, interior design, architecture and premium lifestyle.
The event also served as a platform for different luxury brands to showcase their products and afforded guests the opportunity to expand their networks.