Ayobola Kekere-Ekun

Ayobola Kekere-Ekun (b. 1993) is a visual artist. She was born in Lagos, Nigeria. Her B.A. and M.A. in Visual arts were received from the Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos; where she majored in Graphic Design. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Art and Design at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. Ayobola is also a Lecturer at the Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos.

Ayobola’s work usually explores subjects connected to gender, mythology, power and the human condition in a multi-layered way; creating work through a labour-intensive process. Her work is heavily informed by personal experiences and observations. She is particularly interested in exploring the subtle interplay of time, space, gender, power and social structures in contemporary society.

Ayobola works predominantly with a technique known as quilling, in which strips of paper are individually shaped to create forms. She tends to quill with a variety of materials that respond well to the technique; including ribbon and strips of canvas. She constantly experiments with new ways of exploring materials and their capabilities. Ayobola views the intricacy of her work as a visual metaphor of the complexity of the subject matter she engages with.
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To a large extent, my work relies on a foundation of two major layers. The first is a genuine fascination with lines. I find it intriguing how this basic component of complex forms can be so ambiguously loaded with meaning. A line can connect and separate, enclose and exclude, direct and misdirect, all at the same time. I view my work as a three-dimensional manifestation of lines. A means of catching pockets of light and casting gentle shadows; an avenue to create small stories within a wider narrative.

The second layer is a preoccupation with the society and situation(s) I find myself confronted with on a daily basis. I find myself constantly oscillating between admiration for the tenacity of the human spirit and anger for humanity’s seemingly unwavering commitment to cruelty and hypocrisy. I believe in creating art that ultimately stimulates conversation and encourages thoughtful consideration, as both have the potential to influence and provoke one another. My work is committed to exploring that ageless relationship, with my personal experiences and observations serving as a conduit.

2018
Resilient Lines - Rele Gallery, Lagos (Solo Show)
Cu-ulture and Tradition: Same Experience, Different Local - Koppel Project Hive, London (Group Show)
ArtX Lagos - The 2018 Fair, Lagos

2017
Artyrama Launch Exhibition - Artyrama, Lagos (Group Show)
Idanimo - Terrakulture Gallery, Lagos (Group Show)
In Honour of Professor Bolanle Awe - Museum of the Institute of Africa Studies, University of Ibadan (Group Show)
Her Story - Rele Gallery, Lagos (Group Show)

2016
Dysmorphia & Other Thoughts - Ake Arts and Book Festival, Abeokuta (Group Show)
SAO and The Muse - SAO Cafe, Lagos (Group Show)
Young Contemporaries - Rele Gallery, Lagos (Group Show)

Ayobola Kekere-Ekun, artist's profile on Afikaris
101x76cm, Ayobola Kekere-Ekun