Eniwaye Oluwaseyi: The Politics of Shared Spaces


 

“If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together and work together, in the same world, at peace.”

 

 — Franklin D. Roosevelt      

 


 

 

 

The Politics of Shared Spaces

 

Opening in November 2020, The Politics of Shared Spaces presents a new body of work by Nigerian artist Eniwaye Oluwaseyi (b.1994), highlighting the identities, narratives and power struggles formed within the different frameworks that define a shared space whether it be 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 the artist that examines how social and political identities are defined and questions the embodiment of communal arenas -  both physical and metaphorical -  in regards narratives of race and class.

 

 

The exhibition showcases the first solo body of work from Oluwaseyi as his paintings capture each subject in a vacuum of uncertainty making it unclear to the viewer who prioritizes each presented visual space. Oluwaseyi creates vivid and bold compositions in order to capture each individual in a less dominant manner to focus on the uniqueness of our co-existence. His works are a document of our current climate as the artist presents stunning, raw portraits relating his work to the Nigerian #ENDSARS movement and lockdown politics choosing as his point of view marginalized communities from albinos to Black youth. Eniwaye purposefully favours vibrant colours to highlight the term '"person of colour" emphasising the majesty within each subject he portrays.

 

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

 

Eniwaye Oluwaseyi navigates through the intricate struggles that form the backbone of individual tales of existence to tell the stories of the unheard 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.

 

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.