This art piece is titled “I wish you understood” done by Silas Onoja . Onoja started as child drawing funny cartoons and pictures. He then started professionally as a graduate, with National Diploma from the Polytechnic in 2016.
There’s a young lady, a beautiful lady, in this painting. She is sitting on the rocky side of the stream, smiling and lost in thought. Her hair is plaited. She wears a blue and yellow blouse “buba” and a dark blue wrapper “iro”. Her knees are raised up, and she puts her head on the right knee. She scoops up water from the stream with her right hand and her left hand which she places across her open thighs is about to touch the water too. Obviously she is playing with the stream water. Looking at her attire especially the red beads on her neck could mean she’s royal. Her nails are nice, I must say. The landscape is outdoor, even though we can’t see the skies in the painting but the stream and the rock. It is evening time: the sun has set. The colors in this painting are saturated and pure; the blue and the yellow of the lady’s blouse, the red bead, her black hair, the caramel skin, the crystal of the water, the grey of the rock.
In this painting the lady is the point of focus, and the water too. But the hues: yellow, blue, red, and brown are pure which makes our eyes stay more on the lady than the stream water she plays with. The texture of this art piece is smooth and fine with defined lines.
Anytime I look at this painting I feel at peace… the painting is a familiar scene. I always feel the artist is an All-knowing-being who has painted ME in my playfulness with water at the stream…my thoughts… Playfulness with water is a common thing with young ladies. They play with water when they are heartbroken, lonely, in love or infatuation. They could have played with sand or anything around them but water seems to be the best element to play with. Water is flowing, water is emotions, and water is the best expression for love. Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher, says ” Water is the softest thing, yet it can penetrate mountains and earth. This shows clearly the principle of softness overcoming hardness”. can penetrate souls and soften hardened hearts. It can restore peace to us.
Also the title of this painting depicts how much we want to enjoy our reminiscences of our “lovey” moments alone because the people around do not and can not understand how we feel at these moments. “I wish you understood” how heartbroken, how lonely I am, or how much in love I am. But sadly no one could understand her except the stream water; it can penetrate her soul and soften the hardness. But seeing the lady smile we can tell she’s reminiscing the happy, loving, and beautiful moments of her life.
This is certainly an interesting piece; a realistic one too. A painting I would really love to have because it captures my mood often times. As a critic, I see water as a basic element in Silas Onoja’s works. According to him water is a peaceful, calm and friendly element…represents a peaceful state of mind too. And I believe the beautiful lady in this painting seeks a peaceful state of mind which obviously she finds at the stream. “Water no get enemy”. This painting passes important messages: learning to appreciate nature and being at peace with our selves no matter what!