Oil on canvas. 2018.
O Yemi : "Most of my recent paintings are about political and social issues around the world. My concern about these issues influences me to do most of my recent paintings.
'If you enjoy the fragrance of a rose you must accept the thorns which it bears' - Isaac Hayes
Life is roses and thorns; sometimes it emanates sweet aroma of pleasantness and sometimes it pricks and causes pains. This painting is one of a Series on ‘Roses and Thorns’, in which the main objects of the paintings are roses and stems woven into human figures.
Rose is one of the gifts often used as a romantic gesture of love and it naturally grows from the stems of thorns. In the early stages of a relationship, couples often enjoy the aroma of roses and are lovingly blind to the flaws and thorns of each other. As challenges arise the couple starts to focus on each others’ flaws and start to feel the prick of their thorns.
While preparing to work on this painting, the image of Christ under the weight of the cross in “Stations of the cross” in some of the old master paintings came to mind. I was influenced to paint the image of the main object of this painting in a crawling posture. I used Rose stems woven in the shape of a woman breast feeding while also overwhelmed with other domestic tasks. I used the sticks of the push broom and mop as cross. In the middle ground is the husband sitting aloof and ironically reading the Daily Harmony newspaper. In the background is the picture of the couple’s happy days when they were enjoying the aroma of their love, disregarding the thorns of life. The picture on the Daily Harmony newspaper depicts the Thorns period where they argue and fight.
Couples should not focus on their partners’ thorns but appreciate the fragrance of love emanating from them."