Cut from the Same Cloth: The HomeCourt Artist Residency Presents Destinie Adelakun’s Solo Exhibition

Art is undisputedly a dynamic medium for celebrating culture, diversity, our shared humanity and preserving heritage. Needless to say, one can’t ignore the vitality of art and its perennial relevance across time. Thanks to keeping art alive, we can particularly introspect, chronicle historical stories, and better understand today’s society.

Cut from the Same Cloth: The HomeCourt Artist Residency Presents Destinie Adelakun’s Solo Exhibition

We attended the art exhibition of the avant-garde multi-disciplinary artist, Destinie Adélakun at HomeCourt which is situated at the well-known Ossington strip. As a jack-of-all-trades, the award-winning artist’s body of work spans across various artistic forms, including film, photography, sculpture, paintings, and textiles. She tells the Toronto Guardian that the essence of home and the collective diasporic experience resonates deeply within her. “During a transformative residency at Nike Gallery in Lagos, Nigeria, I immersed myself in the vibrant art of tie-dye methods like Kampala and Adiré, indigenous to my hometown of Abeokuta, Ogun State,” says Adélakun. “These experiences, intertwined with memories of woodblock printing in India alongside my mother, have inspired me to weave together the tapestry of my dual heritage, creating a narrative that celebrates the fusion of cultures under one artistic roof.”

Cut from the Same Cloth: The HomeCourt Artist Residency Presents Destinie Adelakun’s Solo Exhibition

Her creations delve into themes deeply rooted in the ideology of Matriarchal rule and draw inspiration from pre-colonial African and South-Asian history, spirituality, and mythology. Cut from the Same Cloth is a narrative-based multi-media art exhibition, showcased by the inaugural HomeCourt Artist’s Residency.

“While my work predominantly draws from West African influences, the absence of my South Asian heritage has raised questions from critics. Reflecting on my past experiences in India, fraught with personal struggles, I realized the need to confront these darker moments before integrating them into my art,” she tells us.

Under the guidance of acclaimed mentors William Ukoh, Nuria Madrenas, Ashley McKenzie-Barnes and Brian Rideout, the exhibit represents the culmination of Destinie Adelakun’s thoughtful exploration of the concept of home within the diaspora. “William’s guidance, from conceptualization to execution, has been invaluable, drawing from his innovative artistic background to providing feedback that beautifully brought the exhibition to life. His mentorship has been instrumental in shaping Cut from the Same Cloth and refining my artistic expression,” says Adélakun.

Cut from the Same Cloth: The HomeCourt Artist Residency Presents Destinie Adelakun’s Solo Exhibition

This impressive show artfully delves into the personal journey of a modern woman with Nigerian and Indian heritage, whose lived experience and journey as a mixed-race woman challenges the status quo.  “By delving into the depths of Black history, I aim to dispel the misconception that it began with slavery, instead highlighting its roots in a legacy of culture, opulence, and regality. My mission is to challenge existing perceptions of Blackness and contribute to a narrative of celebration, showcasing the essence of joy and pride within Black and Brown communities,” she says.

In this curated exhibition by Omo Iserhienrhien, the African and Indian cultures of Adélakun intersect through captivating film, photography, textile, sculpture, and immersive installations. The intention is to invite viewers into their own memories. “Collaborating with Omo in various roles has been a rewarding experience, as her keen curatorial insight has elevated my artistic vision to unprecedented levels. The honour of having her curate this exhibit has underscored the pivotal role of a curator in enhancing the overall experience of the artwork,” says Adélakun.

Cut from the Same Cloth: The HomeCourt Artist Residency Presents Destinie Adelakun’s Solo Exhibition

By employing a pre-colonial framework to explore both cultures, the audience is prompted to recall their ancestral wisdom, reflecting on the impact of colonial powers and the historical erasure of indigenous knowledge over the years. Adélakun shares that the profound sense of revelation and pride she experienced during her visit to Nigeria three years ago served as a catalyst, propelling her forward both as an artist and as a human being.  “It inspired me to delve into the stories of my ancestors and extend an invitation to the diaspora to embrace a sense of belonging—a sentiment I yearned for while residing in my mother’s homeland of India,” she says.

Cut from the Same Cloth is released at a time when Toronto’s art festivals and programs are having to rely on the public for donations. And because the city is in dire need of places where artists can receive the guidance and support they require, the Artist’s Residency Program at HomeCourt hopes to revitalize the arts community while providing artists with the much-needed support they need to advance in their professions. The program is part of HomeCourt’s goal to empower artists while inspiring the future generation of imaginative creatives and this community-driven project pairs artists with exceptionally accomplished professionals to mentor them.

Stay updated about Destinie Adélakun’s latest creative projects by visiting her website.

 

About Tosin Ajogbeje 55 Articles
Tosin Ajogbeje is a PR expert & spoken word poet who enjoys contributing to community ventures, creating spoken word video content, and blogging about pertinent societal issues. Check out her work at Website(tosinajobs.com) or Instagram(tosin_creativeblogs).