Whatever art has to do with co-existence, the artist Ademola Adeshina has brought forth in his paintings. Coming from textile design background, Adeshina deploys quite some painting of textured patterns to render his thoughts on the chosen theme. He is taking his thoughts to Weave&Co Gallery's 'New Possibilities' series art exhibitions, which took off last month. As the third artist in the series, Adeshina brings a new body of work titled Internal Conflicts, showing from April 21 - May 2018 at Moor House Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The 'New Possibilities series', an initiative of curator at Moor House, Ora Ataguba, opened with Chike Onuorah's Press for Progress and followed by Festus Ogwu's Freedom, both at the same venue. For Adeshina's Internal Conflicts, most of his works are rendered in human themes of which he applies stylised figural representations. Among such paintings in acrylic on canvas are 'Beyond Borders,' 'One People' and 'Reflective Mood,' for examples. For art aficionados and connoisseurs, who are familiar with Moor House's exhibitions, Adeshina shouldn't be a strange name after showing Void to Form a few years ago. This time, the artist takes a bit of the designs and patterns-dominated textures of his last show into Internal Conflict.
While 'Reflective Mood' relies on geometric technique to emboss a lone figural image from the hues of cubes across the canvas, 'Beyond Borders' derives its strength from the artist's moulding-like texture of the crowded, but unified figures of diverse cultures. And flaunting his rich oeuvre, the artist brings a different form in human figural representation in 'One People.' Encircling the people in an oval-shaped border perhaps lifts the title of the painting.
"Without a doubt, the human mind is the most awesome creation of Divinity," Adeshina noted. "Mankind has been given the ability to think, to reason and above all endowed with the power of choice as to which one can focus and feed on either positive or negative thoughts," arguing that the choice of decisions to make rests in the powers of man to either generate conflict or cohesion. The exhibition, he says, is therefore a furtherance of his everyday life expression, featuring over 20 paintings in oil and acrylic.
Though among quite a number of self-taught artists making strong contemporary statements in Nigeria, Adeshina, however, has something working well for him in his choice of style and technique. His background in textile design, he admits, "cannot be overlooked" in strengthening his works. He cities, for examples, two paintings, 'Dialogue and Adam & Eve,' among the new body of works "as products of the influence of textile education."
He also explains how his art "painstakingly employs pointillism" to reproduce textile-textured surfaces such as in the tone of "dyed or printed fabrics, using patterns." And for richer contents, the textile design style appropriates African, specifically Yoruba culture concept. Apart from the rich aesthetics of the two paintings, they actually articulate the central theme of the exhibition.
"The two works share similar colour scheme, and portray human relationship in everyday life," he said.
Excerpts from his Artist Statement says: "Beholding his diverse styles of painting, one could deduce that Adeshina's mind is full of unending ideas, and his unquenchable desire to explore these ideas makes him delve into painting in different styles. Beyond abstraction, the artist also explores his interest in figure study. Although tilting towards stylization due to the minimal detailing on the figure, the work 'Reflective Mood' shows the artists draughtsmanship. The figure is proportional. The work portrays a seated male figure in deep thought, rendered in colourful hues that suggest that thought is beautiful.
"On the whole, Adesina's meticulousness is evident, with the works showing the quality time spent in thoughtful exploration. Well detailed both in colours and forms, the works evoke an enjoyably tingling sensation in the viewers. The theme Internal Conflict is appreciated in the multiplicity of styles used by the artist to express his musings and internal beauty."