Adelakun enters in stride
Prince Saheed Adelakun’s solo show at the Mydrim Gallery, Victoria Island, Lagos, holds from October 1 to 11, 2022. Titled, Strides, the show experiments with form and texture.
For Adelakun, who has been involved in joint shows for a long time, his aim is to focus on painting, however,while doing his final year project, he had a lecturer, Orimolade Odunayo, who challenged him to do something different and come out with material experimentation. “I presented many works, but they were all rejected. So, a day to the closure of my presentation, I couldn’t sleep. At about 2.00am, the idea of using rope came. I put on my generator and stepped out to cut the rope we were using to spread clothes in the neighbourhood. I cut a plywood, weave and designed with ropes and it came out perfect, and it was accepted, everyone clapped for me.”
Adelakun said: “It was not easy when I started, but I wanted a particular ground that will be different from the conventional oil on canvass and acrylic on canvas. I want people to see me do things differently.”
Speaking on the show, the artist said he is exhibiting 32 works: 20 mixed media and 12 drawings. “What I hope to express in this show is that there is more need now than ever to learn from the past and to forge a familiar cultural vision for the future of our society, at the same time express our rich tradition of critical excellence and fundamental creative pathway in life simultaneously.”
He added: “It is pertinent that we live up to the privilege of overseeing and preserving our cultural values for future generations. This idea asks existential questions such as, who we are and what are the vital adoptions of civilisation that our culture can accommodate without suffering obliteration.”
On the use of rope, he said: “My idea of working on patterned rope work enforces the rope as a grounding symbol of strength in unity and the reflective patience for such an imperative process, while taking the studious time to sort circumstances aright. Every belief is likened to a strand of rope, which is often reflective of its entwined interpretation or symbolic of a particular context.
“I have used the rope to indicate my strong connection to my cultural ties and a solid anchor to my art, which I have tested and approved to retain a better preservative outlook without a cracking effect as opposed to a flat canvas in the long run.”
Also speaking on the show, the co-curator, Mydrim Gallery, David Oluwatosin, said: “We must learn to appreciate the technics we’ve worked over the years and learn to appreciate our culture and how it has evolved into what it is now.”
After his secondary school education, the artist, a prominent face at the yearly Calabar Festival, attended Yaba College of Technology for his Ordinary National Diploma (OND), where he majored in painting. He went ahead to do his Higher National Diploma (HND), graduating in 2009, as the best student in painting.
He taught art at the Hampus Secondary School, Kaduna State, between 2010 and 2011, for his compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) before coming back to Lagos.