Ayoola Adeyanju is a visual artist and the Lead consultant at Popag8 Ltd, a brand communications company based in the United Kingdom. He’s a bit of everything creative hence provides solutions to inherent social issues through creativity.
We had a great conversation with Ayoola Adeyanju where he shared with us more about African art.
Interview with Ayoola Adeyanju
What inspired you into becoming a visual artist?
I began drawing at the age of 6.
But away from the saying that every child is an artist till they grow up, I followed my childhood passion and enrolled at the Yaba College of Technology Lagos Nigeria where I graduated as a graphic designer in 1996.
In 2017, after being emotionally overwhelmed by circumstances of the time having relocated to the UK 10 years before, I began to find avenues to externalise my thoughts.
First, I began to write poetry.
This went on for a long time then I began to feel poetry being inadequate as a channel of my expression. It was at this point that I began to paint again.
How do you feel when you make art (when you paint)?
Ecstatic! Psychological release! Every time I feel mentally cluttered or struggle with a solution to work or anything, I simply paint. It brings desired results.
I’ve experienced a massive shift in my mental wellbeing since I began to paint. It has given birth to a social enterprise platform where I help members of the Black and Asian Minority Ethnicity cope with mental health issues.
With your roots to Africa, do your works represent the cultures of Africa or is it hybrid?
Of course my art pieces have African roots to them. Even where the subject isn’t centrally African, The boldness of my colours and texture give clarity to my boldness as an African.
What makes you proud as an African and what do you think of its future?
For centuries, African art collected by Europeans has given rise to democratisation of the continent’s art appreciation.
Today, Visual and Performance arts from Africa adorn galleries and public halls across Europe and Americas. British Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario currently features high profile art pieces from sub-saharan Africa.
It is heart-warming also to see the rise of African music and its influence in American movies such as Coming to America 2, The Harder They Fall, and so on. In Texas, a group of African Americans including a Nigerian celebrates cultural diversity across Texas through realistic Wall murals.
Thank you for chatting with us, Ayoola Adeyanju 🙂
By Elijah Christopher