V.O Curations is excited to mark the opening of its new site in Mayfair at 56 Conduit Street with an exhibition by residency artist, Richard Ayodeji Ikhide. Titled Future Past, this is the artist’s second solo show, following his inclusion in the ‘Zabludowicz Collection Invites’ series in 2019. Comprised of a body of new work developed during his three-month-long residency, Future Past centres on the role of heterogeneous ancient narratives in the building of a shared present and future.
Featuring five large format paper works in graphite and watercolour - the first time the artist has worked on this scale - presented alongside further new watercolour and ink pieces, Future Past is itself a process of divination. Drawing inspiration from wide-ranging cultures, such as the Jomōn people who lived in Japan from 14,000 - 300 BCE, the figures, motifs and totems that appear in Ikhide’s compositions form a system of comparative cosmologies through which to interpret the chaos of contemporary life. Each pen or paint stroke on paper is part of a process through which Ikhide accesses the metaphysical.
Influenced by European artists such as El Greco and William Blake, but also and perhaps more so by titans of Japanese illustration such as Yoshitaka Amano, Ikhide’s practice seeks to untangle art and knowledge production from the traditional Euroamerican episteme. Instead, Ikhide’s work challenges us to utilise ancient and indigenous ways of knowing as the basis to create our own systems of expression. Taking methodological inspiration from the research and imaginative processes involved in video game production, the figures presented in Future Past exist as broad allegories to the universal nature of being. Rather than to position his characters within a certain place or time, or belonging to a certain nation or creed, the characters in Ikhide’s drawings and paintings represent our shared experiences. Existing on a spiritual plane, this new body of work emphasises the importance of the imagination in the process of emancipatory myth-making.
Richard Ayodeji Ikhide (b. 1991 Lagos, Nigeria) studied Textile Design at Central Saint Martins, followed by a Postgraduate degree at the Royal Drawing School, London. Working between graphite, ink and watercolour, Ikhide’s focus on drawing is tied to an interest in the mark-making of our ancestors, and the affective dimensions of a two-dimensional practice. Taking inspiration from diverse archives and artefacts, Ikhide seeks to manifest the spiritual in material form. Recent exhibitions include Unmasked (online) with Daniel Raphael Gallery (2020); Isolation Interviews (online) with Brooke Benington, London (2020); Osmosis at Zabludowicz Collection, London (2019); Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2018 at John Moores University, Liverpool and South London Gallery, London; Best of Drawing Year 2018, Christies, London (2017), and Obscurity at Somewhereto, London (2015). Ikhide’s work has been acquired by the Royal Collection Trust.
To mark Ikhide’s exhibition, V.O Curations has produced Yiya, a publication of drawings from the artist’s sketchbook. Designed in collaboration with graphic designer, Ernest Wereko, the publication reflects Ikhide’s sketchbooks as the bedrock for his practice and the space in which he feels most free to record, invent and imagine. Copies of the publication are available to purchase here