Artist: Yacoub Adeleke
Location: Takwa Bay, Lagos

IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE

When the word Art is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is man-made concept, museum, and Art galleries. Installation art is not totally different, even though site-specific, it’s conceptualized and installed by man. We hardly looked at the possibility of nature, curating and telling its own story. My choice of hotspot was propelled by this quest; the search for a point of convergence between nature and machine; seeking nature and art in its natural and raw form. Takwa bay community; a popular Island in Lagos, Nigeria, known for its beautiful beach answered this yearning for nature doing its own thing. For most, Takwa bay does not go beyond relaxation and fun at the beach.

My interest in Takwa Bay as a hotspot was triggered by the strategic positioning of a shipwreck I came in contact with about 3 years ago. No-one would ever think of a shipwreck as a beautiful piece of installation art nor attach any importance to it. This massive object is strategically positioned and can be seen from afar but overlooked. The part of the beach where I spotted this shipwreck is isolated and rarely visited. The serene atmosphere creates a sense of spirituality, the rhythmic movement and the sound of the waves reflects the fluidity and transiency of time. The waves and splash of water on the shipwreck leave a lasting impression, patterns and motifs on the body. This confluence reflects an intertwining relationship between man and nature. The surrounding, littered by particles and objects washed ashore by waves add to the aesthetics and narrative. The rustic look communicates age and passage of time; a reflection of the uncertainty of life as we journey through it facing different challenges and circumstances that further redefines our perceptions and interpretations. The serenity of this environment and the isolation gives us room to reflect on ourselves, absorb and assimilate the beauty of nature.

The stagnation of the ship and gradual process of decay, rust and deconstruction raises a topical question on the state of the world where peaceful coexistence is stagnated by war, religion and policies. It opens discussion on the issue of refugeism. In the words of one fieldworker and scholar, “we exist in a state of continuous construction and reconstruction; it is a world where anything goes that can be negotiated. Each reality of self gives way to reflexive questioning, irony, and ultimately the playful probing of yet another reality. “

Concept by Yacoub Adeleke 2017