DADA Gallery is pleased to present Escape To Within, the first solo exhibition of Nigerian artist Bunmi Agusto on at 4 Cromwell Place, London SW7 7JE.
Combining painting, drawing and collage, Agusto illustrates a fictional cultural pilgrimage through 19 new works executed with pastel pencils, ink, acrylic, sandpaper and paper. The artist invites viewers to engage with figures wandering through braided forests and dark waters into her surrealist wonderland called Within, a world based on the structures of the mind and distorts logic and space.
Agusto further addresses the ambiguous nature of figurative language through her naturally braided terrains, which specifically reference the idiomatic expression “the world in my head”. She cites stories such as Amos Tutuola’s The Palm Wine Drinkard, Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland and the Marvel Cinematic Universe as major influences. She challenges learned relationships with objects and language to create a complex fantasy world that explores cultural theory and the evolution of selfhood.
For her solo exhibition, Agusto honed in on these artistic choices to focus on a wave of humans migrating into her mindscape. Through cutting and pasting technique, both the hybrids and humans are constantly kept separate from the spaces as a nod to the artist’s own peripatetic lifestyle moving between Lagos and London and not always feeling tethered to a particular space. She emphasises the looseness of their presence through her manipulation of light and space as her subjects rarely naturally cast shadows.
DADA Gallery champions artists whose practice reflects the times and develops new ways in which art can speak truth to power. The gallery has earned a reputation for introducing the most exciting emerging artists from Africa and its diaspora to international audiences. DADA Gallery is committed to promoting artists exploring wide ranging themes such as youth, identity, sexuality, cultural and socio-economic issues. The gallery was founded in 2015 as an online journal that merged politics and art. The gallery has since evolved and shifted its focus to exploring innovative and immersive ways to invite audiences to engage with its roster of young vibrant artists. DADA Gallery presents exhibitions in its physical spaces in London and Lagos while continuing to maintain a strong digital presence with its online exhibitions.