This Article was in NEXT NEWSPAPERS recently-
Drizzly Day on Fleet Street, painting by Adebanji Alade SOLD
Art in pursuit of excellence
By Wunmi Akinde
August 14, 2009 01:48PMT
Who or what inspired your art career?
I have always loved to draw and only ever really considered being an artist after a divine revelation. After that, it has always been a desire to pursue excellence in art and that has inspired me and kept me going.
Some of my greatest influences in the field have been Nigerians like Abiodun Olaku and Kolade Oshinowo. Then classical artists like John Singer Sargent, Rembrandt, Velazquez, Anders Zorn and Joaquin Sorolla. When it comes to sketching, it was two things. First, my reading a simple book on sketching written by Alywn Crawshaw in 1992 and more recently, my instructor at Heatherley's, Jeff Stultiens that set the ball rolling.
Why did you relocate to the UK?
I was born in the UK; I felt there were better opportunities to further my education in the UK so I made the decision to relocate.
How have Nigerians reacted to your work? Have you participated in any art shows or exhibitions in Nigeria?
Nigerians like my work. I think over here in the UK, when they see and hear that I'm an artist they feel proud that one of their boys can actually practice as a professional artist here. I took part in the Society of Nigerian Artists Exhibition (October Rain) in 2008 and Class of ‘97 YabaTech (Splash of Colour) also in 2008.
I sold works in both exhibitions. The Nigerian collectors were inspired to purchase when they saw the quality of what I produced and learnt of the awards I have won in the UK.
Will you say that your being a Nigerian has in any way impacted on the progress of your work in the United Kingdom and beyond?
Being Nigerian has impacted on my work in the UK because all the trainings that has made me what I am today started in Nigeria while I was in YABATECH.
They made us learn the hard way at the school and that has had a strong impact in helping me to survive through the hard times here. Also my choice of vibrant colours, vivid strokes and works full of life and energy all have roots and influences from my growing up and being exposed to art in Nigeria.
Why did you pick sketching?
I picked sketching because sketching is the purest and most immediate reaction on paper that you can get from a representational artist. I believe every idea starts in art with a sketch and also, I believe that to sketch from life is a great way for me to appreciate and pay keen attention to what is around me.
For instance, when sketching the human face, it makes me learn of the possibilities inherent in the human face such as moods, emotions, character, form, shape and structure in a way I would never have been able to learn through any other way.
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