Culled from an essay titled ‘Yesteryears – Reflections through the Lenses’ by the same author and published in The UNION Newspaper on March 2, 2014.
An admixture of colour and Black/White images brought alive from times past, was the tone set in the ever friendly ambiance of the National Museum (Lagos) exhibition hall, where the Photographer, Segun Taylor poured out her feelings in thematic visual offerings.
Sometimes her sojourns in foreign lands brought against the backdrop of her Nigerian experience, has indeed welled up a unique energy in her sobering reminiscences. This makes one able to draw inferences for constructive comparisons regarding the various and diverse cultures and environments from which she has freely tapped inspirations for her works. Sometimes also, her experiences have tended to bring about eloquent conversations and dialogues relating to the realities and challenges of a festering social milieu.
Segun Taylor captures especially the variegated, albeit predominantly sombre sights and sounds of both modern and even ‘yesteryears’ Nigeria. She does not mince words in her predilection for capturing the need for a social rebirth. Her lenses have traversed and travailed across the vast landscape – like a woman with child; she groans and bears our collective pains rising from her tripod. From the rustic landscapes, to the rural and even sub-urban reflections of poverty and squalor, to the picturesque country, and down to the city hustle and bustle, this artiste draws visuals bearing so many tales too much for a writer to put down.
None of the photographs on display have a title, neither is any dated - intentionally so; for doing otherwise Segun reckons will only go to restrict and diminish the interpretation as well as the ongoing conversations: How could an impoverished haggard looking old guy sitting in front of his lonely thatched mud hut tucked away in a rural wilderness be calm and smiling at you? The wardrobe of rags and litter hang right there in your face, and his kitchen all bare with sooth and burnt soup, and he smiles at you still; he is not afraid for himself or anything, not even for the little kid who stands by, looking on – talk about he that is already down. Is this contentment or insanity, when ravenous politicians are still killing each other over the next elections? There must be a lesson to take away from all these.