A look at Prince Saheed Adelakun’s Stride
…as artist stages debut solo at Mydrim Gallery
For over a decade now, Prince Saheed Adelakun, an innovative Nigerian visual artist, has been experimenting with several media for his art and proving himself master across such media.
Today, the Yaba College of Technology graduate of Fine Arts, with distinction, has come of age and is showcasing the products of his long years of hard work and experimentation.
Of course, Adelakun, an Ayetoro, Ogun State prince, invented rope as his unique media and canvas, though he also shows class in other media.
According to him, he came up with the idea to use rope as canvas while he was trying to interpret his surname, Adelakun and also by the quest to experiment with unconventional media that will produce unique works that will not crack or be impacted by time and seasons.
With all these going for him, the artist is presenting his debut solo exhibition at Mydrim Gallery Ikoyi from October 1-11, 2022. Titled ‘Stride’, he noted that the title of the exhibition is chosen because of the painstaking process and hard work that go into the works.
The debut solo, which is forcing the artist to show some of his most valued works done with his rope techniques to the public for the first time, will feature 32 rare works.
The 32 works comprise 20 paintings and 12 drawings with some from his Duduyemi and Mirror Evolution Series, which are offering two works each.
Also, the uniqueness lies in the fact that some of the works are over 10 years, spanning from 2011 to 2022 across different art forms; paintings and drawings.
Again, another intrigue is that the artist not only works with rope, but tells stories with every one of his works, yet playing up cultural elements, relatable messages and beauty all in one single work.
His technique is one of its kind, and he calls it Olokun, which is literally interpreted as the ‘Rope Bearer’.
The intrigue is how he uses rope as canvas and the thickness, which is stronger than three layers of canvas. These and more are reasons to visit to see the exhibition, which opens from October 1, Nigeria’s Independence Day and runs until 11th.
He explains his technique saying, “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 right.
“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”, he said in his artist statement.
However, he hopes to use the solo exhibition to express the urgent need now more than ever to learn from the past and to forge familiar cultural visions for the future of the society.
He does this while exploring at the same time, Nigeria’s rich tradition of critical excellence and fundamental creative outlook in life.
Mydrim also assured that the exhibition will be sold-out because of the artist, who the gallery described as one of the best in his class.
According to David Oluwatoyin, curator of Mydrim Gallery, Adelakun, who will be exhibiting in the United States of America soon, is among the gallery’s most cherished artists because of his creative ingenuity and resultant enthralling works he brings to the table.