Feature
| Florentine Maats

ADA \ contemporary art gallery present a solo exhibition by rising artist Eniwaye Oluwaseyi

The Politics of Shared Spaces presents a new body of work by Nigerian artist Eniwaye Oluwaseyi, highlighting the identities, narratives and power struggles formed within the different frameworks that define a shared space.
November 27 – December 27, 2020

After the successful inaugural opening of the gallery and sold out exhibition, titled Gindin Mangoro: Under the Mango Tree, by portrait artist Collins Obijiaku, ADA \ contemporary art gallery presents its next show, The Politics of Shared Spaces, the debut solo presentation by Nigerian artist Eniwaye Oluwaseyi (b. 1994). From November 27 to December 27 2020, the gallery will present the artist’s all-new body of work, a selection of 12 large-scale canvases that highlight the power struggles that exist within the spaces we share, whether it is a shared living space; a shared mindset; a shared community or our shared transience. The Politics of Shared Spaces is a comprehensive portfolio of work by Oluwaseyi highlighting how social and political identities are defined, while questioning the embodiment of communal arenas – both physical and metaphorical – in regards to narratives of race and class.

On view within the gallery’s 850-square-meter space, Oluwaseyi’s paintings capture each subject in avacuum of uncertainty, making it unclear to the viewer who prioritizes each presented visual space. Oluwaseyi creates vivid and bold compositions in order to seize each individual in a non-dominant manner focusing primarily on the uniqueness of our co-existence. His paintings document our current climate, presenting raw portraits related to the Nigerian #ENDSARS movement, as well as the lockdown politics, choosing, in his point of view, marginalized communities from albinos to Black youth. Eniwaye purposefully favours vibrant colours to highlight the term ‘”person of colour” emphasizing the majesty within each subject.


The artist sees himself as both a critic and an observer. His paintings are influenced by injustice, racial conflicts and pressure of living a modern life versus traditional societal norms. Working in oil on canvas, his delicate paint strokes depict his human figures in an elegant and yet vulnerable manner, which lies in stark contrast to the powerful and striking presence of each of the represented subjects. “I try to combine unusual colour palettes to go beyond the borders of religion, race and tradition,” Oluwaseyi comments.


Oluwaseyi navigates through the intricate struggles that form the backbone of individual tales of existence to tell the untold stories in society. His art works are impregnated with the struggles and experiences of individuals, evoking strong feelings of hope and redemption in the minds of viewers who connect with his pieces.


On view until December 27, 2020, the exhibition also extends digitally, complementing the gallery display with a multifaceted immersion into Oluwaseyi’s practice. A virtual viewing room and visit, as well as personal sketches and videos of the artist, these supporting materials offer an intimate insight into both his inspiration and his artistic process.


The Politics of Shared Spaces is the second iteration of ADA’s program of dedicated solo and group exhibitions, off-site projects, talks, creative partnerships and more. In 2021, ADA will also launch a residency program bringing together a local Ghanaian artist and an international artist whose practice is rooted in Africa and its legacy. Cultivating a dialogue between local and international artists, the residency is a manifest to ADA’s engagement in nurturing Ghana and Africa’s emerging art community, while strengthening its ties and influence across global audiences.

About Eniwaye Oluwaseyi:
Eniwaye Oluwaseyi (b.1994) is a self-taught Nigerian born contemporary artist from Kogi State. He holds a Bachelors of Engineering in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. His practice is primarily centred around portraiture and impressionistic realism, working with bold and vivid tones in his representation of human figures in a darkened form of grisaille striking realism to give his paintings a strong, physical and direct presence.

Eniwaye Oluwaseyi work has been placed in several notable blue chip collections and has been featured in international group exhibitions including The Medium is the Message, UNIT London; SAY IT LOUD, Christie’s, New York; Drawn Together, UNIT London. The Politics of Shared Spaces is the artist’s first solo exhibition.

About ADA \ contemporary art gallery:
Based in Accra, Ghana, ADA \ contemporary art gallery specializes in the work of emerging artists across Africa and its diaspora. Established in 2020 by contemporary African art advisor Adora Mba, ADA is committed to nurturing Ghana and the continent’s contemporary art community and to fostering its ties and influence amongst global audiences.


Highlighting individual early career artistic practices, the gallery’s program includes dedicated solo exhibitions; off-site projects and exhibitions; site-specific commissions; talks; creative partnerships and philanthropic activities with local actors; and international art fairs. Each exhibition also extends online, complementing the physical experience with a multifaceted digital immersion into each artist’s personal practice.


In parallel, ADA will develop a residency program starting in 2021, bringing together a local Ghanaian artist and an international artist whose practice is rooted in Africa and its legacy. Cultivating a dialogue between the local and the international artists, the residency is a manifest to ADA’s engagement in strengthening these ties and to establishing Ghana’s emerging artistic scene and market internationally.


ADA \ contemporary art gallery
Villaggio Vista
North Airport Road
Airport Residential Area
Accra, Ghana
[email protected]
www.ada-accra.com

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