Cu-Ulture and Tradition: Same Experience Different Local

Cu-Ulture and Tradition: Same Experience Different Local

Cu-Ulture and Tradition: Same Experience Different Local
The Koppel Hive Project
Holborn Viaduct


I have to admit this Black History Month has been pretty amazing thus far in the wealth of work being displayed. Even though some are trying to broaden (read erase) Black contribution from the landscape or as we are constantly being told ‘we live in a post-racial world‘ London has proven that regardless of the relentless attacks we shall persevere.

So onwards onto a new exhibition held at The Koppel Hive Project on the Holborn Viaduct by curated by Adeola  Arthur Ayoola of Kanbi Contemporary  featuring the following artists;

  • Gbalahan Ayoola
  • Suraj Adekola
  • Olawunmi Banjo
  • Jumoke Sanwo
  • Uzoma Anyanwu
  • Williams Chechet
  • Dennis Osadebe
  • Ayabola Kekere-Ekun
  • Habeeb Anu
  • Bob-Nasa Uwagboe

The blurb speaks of a collective identity bounded by shared ideas within hierarchal societies and cultural identity being no longer based on rigid social constructs. It explores our interconnected global community cultural identity based on translocal experiences.

Being in the diaspora and having a sense of what is traditional and adapting to a modern life I can see the shifts from both sides. Regardless of place we are connected it provides us with balance and helps us see how difference can be integrated into our community.

Uzoma’s use of Ankara fabric to make portraits of woman were striking, it also connected with the rise of wearing and displaying our identity – we mix and match our fabrics into western clothing ie colourful headwraps, aline skirts or shirts then styling them with shop bought wares.

There cannot be art without commentary on the socio-political situation in Africa in this context Nigeria which is explored by Jumoke Sanwo – Playlists I – IV dating from 2012 to 2018. It is a series of four photographs each with accompanying soundtrack which chronicle key events in the artist’s life as well as political events such as the coup in 1983, Abacha’s rise (and eventual fall) in 1993, the Orgoni killings also in 1993, Nigerian football team winning the gold medal at the Olympics in 1996, Agbani Darego becoming Miss World in 2001, the passing of Stella Obasanjo in 2005 and the death of Y’Aradua in 2010.

Olawunmi Banjo – Sense of Self I – III portraits bound up in futuristic contemplation, Dennis Osadebe tracksuit and mask (usually helmet) wearing faceless protagonist toying with the viewer anonymously, Gbolahan Ayoola’s Blue Woman series which looks at gender identity, Williams Chechet highly coloured photographs from his We Are The North series, Habeeb Andu’s Arrival Quarters and Juvenile Currency portraying an uneasy truth about our socio-political landscape.

If you are around I recommend taking a look. The exhibition runs until 16th November 2018.

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