|Joseph Stafford; Nike Davies Okundaye and Kathleen Stafford|
Kathleen Stafford is the wife of an American Consul-General, Joseph Stafford who served in Nigeria recently. While her husband served, Kathleen, a trained fine artist, took the opportunity to showcase some of her works at Nike Art Gallery, which she created during their residence in other African countries.
Her collection of art works showed that she had made a clear distinction in her pursuit of the art; her paintings and print-making are done with such techniques as collograph and collagraph unlike the common lithograph and soft screen techniques used by a lot of artists. I must say that I also appreciate her works done with watercolour; they are very different from the regular watercolour products.'Obioma', one of Kathleen's works in Nigeria
Women at a market in Abidjan
My particular interest about Kathleen’s works was that she expressed her observations of the people’s lifestyle in those countries where her husband had served. I see through her work too, that she decided to see the beautiful sides of these African people as she lived among them. Kathleen has ensured an undiluted documentation of life in everywhere her husband goes for service.
'Three sisters' artwork of women in Abidjan
Her works of Cote D’Ivoire were a choice selection showing how fashionable the women are; they take celebration ceremonies seriously, yet the women give in so much to commerce for development. Kathleen got fulfilment associating her art with those things.
While they were still in Nigeria, Kathleen took her time to observe lifestyles of different people, which she hopes to express through her works. But she couldn’t wait to express her fancy of the itinerant tailors who do mainly clothes mending for very meagre amounts, just to make a living.
Kathleen looked forward to start work on a new collection to reflect the bubbling social life style of the city of Lagos, not leaving out the splendour that makes Lagos unique.