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West African artist Akirash at National Art Gallery

This intriguing rough tapestry by Akirash’s is currently on display at the National Art Gallery.

This intriguing rough tapestry by Akirash’s is currently on display at the National Art Gallery.

The National Art Gallery announced that a selection of works by the Nigerian American artist Olaniyi Rasheed Akindiya Akirash is currently on display at the gallery.
Introducing the multi-award interdisciplinary artist, the gallery said Akirash is somewhat of a dusty-foot philosopher, having travelled the globe and inspired communities with his art works and art performances.
Born in Nigeria, Akirash discovered his passion for art and performance as an adult and gave up a career as a pharmacist to pursue his calling to become an artist.

This decision has taken him around the world sharing his message through his art.
Akirash has had an impressive career participating in solo and group exhibitions as well as initiative projects and performances in a number of countries including South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The West African artist is in Namibia doing an artist residency at the John Muafangeo Art Centre in Katutura.
In just a few weeks he has already contributed to the local art scene with his art performances especially his ‘Namibia Facing Forward’ performance that took place from the Kudu Statue on Independence Avenue to the Zoo Park.
His exhibition is titled ‘Akwata Ondjuhwa Komlungu’ which in Oshindonga means ‘He caught the chicken on the bill’. “I chose this title to send a message to the people of Namibia who think the country owns them something. Many people are awaiting a miracle of some sort to happen to them.
This is a proverb to say that it is time to wake up, rise early before the cock crows and be ready to work, to contribute to the development of this great nation, Namibia” said Akirash.
The exhibition comprises mixed media paintings, performances and sculpture installations.
All the art works in the exhibition were created during his stay in Namibia “Most of the works are inspired by what I see, how people especially the youth respond to everyday life. My work is mostly influenced by the time, space, moment and environment I find myself in” he said.
 Akirash admits that when he started work for this exhibition he did not consciously think of a theme. “The work comes together as I work.
As I continued working it came together to give the same message, which is that people need to wake up before the cock crows.
‘Akwata Ondjuhwa Komlungu’ by Akirash opened in the Upper Gallery of the National Art Gallery this week and will run until Monday, 02 December.

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