Saturday 14 April 2012

Linear, dramatic shots of Akeredolu

 IT took 15 years of waiting and planning for graphic artist Sola Akeredolu to have his first solo show. For an artist whose career has spanned the transition of photography from analogue to digital, it is surprising that he waited that long to share his passion and experiences through show; a medium taken for granted, even by younger artists.   
Keke Eko by Sola Akeredolu

  However, the wait appears to be worth the while, as his works titled Apollo Eleven, currently showing at the School of Art and Design Gallery, Yaba College of Technology (YABTECH), Lagos, brings the soon to be forgotten pre-digital experience to fore.
   With works such as Mother, an image of survival in a rural setting and Tolotolo (Turkey), bird of elegance, Akeredolu shows a mastery of the technique. While he agrees that the experience in analogue comes in as an advantage in achieving his technique; digital, he argues, helps to achieve depth for most of his shots.
    Also of note is his style of natural and arranged linear sceneries, particularly in works such as Keke Eko, a queuing of commercial tricycle motor; and Long Way Home, a wide-angle shot of the Third Mainland Bridge.
   His preference for lines, understandably, must have a link with his being a graphic artist. He stresses, “I like lines a lot and with camera, I see lines in every space, which ordinary eyes may not see.”
  He proves that in shots such as the now archived disorderliness of Oshodi as well as A City With Brown Roofs, the sea of rustic rooftops of Ibadan, Oyo State.
WAItING this long to have his debut solo show, despite over 15 years in photography raises curiosity. Akeredolu reveals, “ironically, I have been supporting others in shows, yet kept pushing mine forward.”
A City With Brown Roofs

  And when he appears to have won over the battle of procrastination, he digs into history to thematise. This, he explains, is synonymous with feat of the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong. And like the conquest of the moon after several attempts, Akeredolu's show finally held.
  Works for Apollo Eleven are basically daylight shots, which suggest that Akeredolu is an outdoor photographer. Not exactly, he cautions: “The outdoor preference is not deliberate; I’m not a restricted photographer, it just happened that the works for this show are natural shots, which I could not have asked people to pose for inside the studios or at home.”

   This spontaneity also makes him to enjoy raw (unedited) photographs. And not just about the style and technique garnered in photography and graphic, over the years that bothers him, but documenting events as a way of life. He notes that the ability of the camera to capture these scenes fascinates him.
  He argues that in photography, “viewers should relate more with the field and surroundings. I work more on things and issues around my environment.  I love travelling and recording culture, people and places where there is relative calmness.”

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