Tell us a little about your background.
I was born and raised in Lagos, and I am currently based here. But I would like to think I am in transit, really. I studied Graphic Design at the University of Lagos. Shortly after graduating I began working in advertising and art direction. After completing my Masters, I began lecturing for a period of two years at the same university where I was once a student. What I have always found interesting is the way graphic design was taught. It’s this mash-up of so many different elements.
How would you describe your practice?
I would say my practice is hugely digital. But over time I can see this changing as I am now beginning to gradually lean more towards experimenting with different mediums and trying to question various materials and techniques and how they intercept with the digital medium.
I recently completed a residency at Art House Contemporary in Lagos. I began pushing myself out of my comfort zone (which was fun!) and took to drawing with coal in a new body of work I am creating.
As time has progressed notions of afro-futurism in creative media, contemporary art in particular, have leaned more towards digital methods of art making. The terms afro- futurism, afro-surrealism, afro-fantasy are terms almost synonymous with your practice. Would you agree?
I think my practice is somewhere in between, I wouldn’t say it’s completely afro-futurist or solely afro-surrealist but a meeting somewhere in between the two, overlapping from time to time. I try not to think about the category before I have created the work. Instead I try to focus on how I want to communicate a message, and how best to communicate this. Thinking about the category in which the work belongs, before actually creating the work would really box me in and stunt my creativity.
What narratives and themes do you tend to gravitate towards in your practice?
From a young age I have always been interested in dreams, fantasy and the concept of probability. Like many creatives, my surroundings also have a huge influence on the work I create. And often to a larger extent globalisation has had an impact of my practice.
Can you tell me about the series Techno Heads?
For a while I have been trying to understand the role technology plays in our society. Based on research and my personal findings, essentially, technology is a tool or device designed to make life easier. In a very basic sense.
Throughout the Techno Heads series I have drawn inspiration from my surroundings and really tried to interrogate why we gravitate towards technology the way we do. I also found inspiration from the bikes which are a popular mode of transport in Lagos. I was always most inspired by the headlights on the bikes and how they functioned. I had a vision
of how I could merge single technology and daily human life, and how this can be viewed in an afro context.