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In Now I Know Why Birds Fly, Olarinde leaves worries behind

By Eniola Daniel
17 June 2022   |   2:42 am
For many artists, the COVID-19 period was that of isolation characterised by time distortion due to the collapse of regular time trackers such as neighbours heading out for work

For many artists, the COVID-19 period was that of isolation characterised by time distortion due to the collapse of regular time trackers such as neighbours heading out for work, the trash truck collecting daily waste, school children heading off to/ from school in noisy groups and other signs of a passing day.

  
For Ayanfe Olarinde, whose first solo show, Now I Know Why Birds Fly, was held from May 1 to June 4, 2022, it was an opportunity to acquire knowledge.

Dear You, one of the works on display


Curated by Princess Ayoola, the show represented growing through knowledge in the peak of isolation. The knowing here speaks to learning from life itself via language, time and experience spoke by the entire body.

Reeling off the forced year of introspection, Olarinde approaches the reopening of the world with a sense of thirst, as if to drink up every drop of time for fear of waste. 

This psychological disposition results not just in hunger to feel more, but also to be more conscious and reflective of this feeling.
 
Now I Knout Why Birds Fly serves as a journal of youthful reemergence with its tongue in a stream of life. It’s a journal of recollections painted with the surreal signature motif of the artist’s mind trying to make tangible the mental and visceral taste of life fleeting in time, as it moves from one moment to the next.

Here, Olarinde employs different modes of expression to covey varying layers of her lived experiences.

 
Speaking on what inspired the show, Olarinde, who exhibited a total of 24 works, said: “It was inspired by a time when I felt that share happiness, a time I felt happy and no one could piss me off. I was having a paradise experience and I went up in the sky. I felt like I left all my worries beneath me and just looked down at them. 2021 was a rough and good year as well.
  
“I work across different mediums, some on canvass, mixed media on canvass, papers and some on sand: I don’t just want people to see my works, I want them to feel, perceive it, and hear it. I want all the five senses to be at work when people see my work. These works have been created since the beginning of the year.”
    
On her part, Ayoola said: “The central message of this exhibition is trying to expose people to a kind of new freedom.”