- Title: NIGERIA: Nigerian sculptor Adeola Balogun recycles used car tyres to create art.
- Date: 19th November 2013
- Summary: LAGOS, NIGERIA (RECENT) (REUTERS) ADEOLA BALOGUN, VISUAL ARTIST MARKING TYRES TO BE CUT VARIOUS OF BALOGUN CUTTING THE TYRES VARIOUS OF ADEOLA BALOGUN AND ASSISTANTS WEAVING AND NAILING TYRES CLOSE UP OF HAND HAMMERING NAIL INTO ART PIECE (SOUNDBITE) (English) ADEOLA BALOGUN, ARTIST, SAYING: "There was a day I actually you know bought some new tyres because the ones I had were worn out and I initially dropped them somewhere, in a dump-site, and later on I just, I mean, on getting to the dump-site discovered that there were a lot of tyres there, and it crossed my mind that, look, this should be adapted to you know, as in my field of exploration as far as material is concerned."
- Embargoed: 4th December 2013 12:00
- Location: Nigeria
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment / Showbiz,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA84G1B8CP15S9NOQBAKRYF7W0A
- Story Text: Veteran Nigerian artist Adeola Balogun has discovered a way to turn used tyres into works of art. The idea was born out of the need to give meaning to items and objects that have lost their primary purpose and transform them into spectacular sculptures. Balogun has created pieces that have been installed in strategic positions around Lagos, Nigeria's sprawling metropolis.
At his studio in the suburbs of Lagos, Nigerian sculptor, Adeola Balogun is creating his latest installation using old, discarded car tyres.
He starts by cutting the tyres into smaller, more manageable pieces and then nailing them together.
"There was a day I actually you know bought some new tyres because the ones I had were worn out and I initially dropped them somewhere, in a dump-site, and later on I just, I mean, on getting to the dump-site discovered that there were a lot of tyres there, and it crossed my mind that, look, this should be adapted to you know, as in my field of exploration as far as material is concerned," explained Adeola.
With over 20 million inhabitants, Lagos is one of Africa's largest cities. Traffic jams here are legendary. Many used tyres end up in dumpsites such as this one providing a surplus of raw material for Adeola's work.
The 47-year-old artist has been experimenting with tyres since 2008 as his attempt to find a solution for all the tyre waste and draw attention to the ecological problems they are likely to cause.
Depending on the size and complexity, each sculpture from concept to completion takes several weeks for Adeola to finish. With the help of his assistants, he screws them into an iron cast and then finally paints them black.
"By its nature, it's a non biodegradable material, it doesn't decay you know, and for sculptors we always look for material that will last long, right, so if you look at that, it's a veritable material for me to actually bring into my visual deliberations, you know, explorations," added Adeola.
Adeola also decorates the pieces with musical instruments fusing two different art forms.
Adeola works as a lecturer at one of the universities in Lagos and also mentors younger artists like Fatai Abdukareem.
"I have learnt a lot because the things he does in the studio, they don't teach you in school; they actually teach some things but practically, because he works on different types of materials...he explores...no material is a waste, because he makes me to learn that no material is a waste," said Fatai.
Adeola has held eight exhibitions, with three focused on his work with recycled tyres. Some of the pieces have been sold for nearly 13,000 US dollars.
Oliver Enwonwu, president of the Society of Nigerian Artists says Adeola's work reflects the eclectic nature of African art.
"It's very innovative of the artist and I think art is one of the directions that African art is going. African art is about making, about creating, about processes, not necessarily painting, not necessarily you know using the camera, photography or video, but African art has its own intrinsic process that makes it Africa. Most of the African work that you see especially from traditional times, the ancient times, have to do with making, sculpture and using and kneading, rolling, tying, dyeing. This has a very African feel to it," he said.
Adeola's unconventional pieces not only comment on the changing landscape of the African city but also interrogate the future, asking questions about the impact of continued environmental degradation on the continent.
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