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Adeleke tackles Nigeria’s electricity Issues with art

Adeleke tackles Nigeria’s electricity Issues with art

The exhibition of works of the painting titled “Light Resolutions” by Akeem Adeleke, which tackles the hydra-headed problem of electricity supply in Nigeria, could not have come timelier. The public opening which began November 20, 2022, at Legacy Empire Gallery, LLC, runs till November 24, 2022.

In presenting “Light Resolutions”, Curator Mathew Oyedele writes beautifully about the theme which hits at the very heart of Nigeria’s problem – darkness, the darkness which originated from people’s minds and resulted physically in the failure of electricity supply.

“Nigeria may be the giant of Africa,” Oyedele writes, “but one of its biggest problems is irregular power supply. This poor power situation has paralyzed economic activities and hindered economic development. Following the artist’s journey to investigate Nigeria’s electricity problem, Adeleke continues his exploration through painting on the theme of a power outage.” In this body of work, he explores the themes of epileptic electricity, resolution, class struggle, and human relationships.

The first section, which consists of two distinct parts, takes an in-depth look at the history of Nigeria, with the artist metaphorically highlighting the failure of the electricity sector and its impact on the daily life of the average citizen through the confrontation of light and darkness. Each piece in this section illuminates how the struggle for electricity affects the masses and the economic development of the country as a whole. Adeleke is interested in how we can solve the problems as a nation and what can serve as a catalyst for the future of the energy sector.

The second part of the exhibition deals with the relationships between people. It is about the human spirit and sharing our inner light and knowledge. How we unconsciously allow other people to radiate through our actions and interactions.

In the third part, the artist explores horses as metaphors for strength, forward movement, progress, and power.

The audience is invited to enter the space and connect with shared stories about social issues, solutions, human relationships, and psychology.

Answering questions on his career as an artist, his theme, and the things that inspire him, the exhibiting artist, Akeem Adeleke says, “I want people to see beyond the images I paint. I can’t see beyond any horizon. It is only the supreme God that can see beyond the horizon.

“I trained both as an apprentice in 1992 and in school,” Adeleke says. He studied Fine Art, double major, at Federal College of Education, Abeokuta, Ogun State, graduating in 2004. Philosophizing his career, Adeleke says, “Artists express themselves in many ways – talking, writing, poetry, singing, etc. I express myself through painting.”

Akeem also says that he found out that artists choose themes as objects of their thought and work, themes like the oceans, animals, or aspects of life. “I chose to make the problems of Nigeria my country my own theme – the problem of electricity. The electricity problem in Nigeria, the artist says, “is a big problem I want to be a thing of the past. I am prophesying with my painting that the problem of darkness shall come to pass in Nigeria.”

Akeem Adeleke, known for his meticulous depictions of Nigerian landscapes, is an artist whose vision and direction are futuristic. His luminous and detailed landscapes are an expression of his vision for his country, even as the works stand in stark contrast to Nigerian reality.

In his nearly two-decade career as an artist, Akeem Adeleke has exhibited and led workshops in Nigeria, France, and the United States of America. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria, and is a member of the Society of Nigerian Artists. His selected exhibitions include Spotlight, Nike Art Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria – 2022; Salon Show, Civic Center, Lagos, Nigeria – 2022; October Rain, Mydrim Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria – 2021; Art Connect, Four Point by Sheraton, Lagos, Nigeria – 2019 and Insight, Xavier University of Louisiana, USA – 2019.

Other exhibitions are October Rain, Nike Art Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria – 2016; Patches of Diplomatic Corridor, Abuja, Nigeria – 2015 and Tales of Cities, Nigeria, and South Africa, Lagos, Nigeria – 2012.

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