With confidence in his artistry and collection, Emmanuel Oyeleke is prepared to showcase his new body of works at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos at a solo exhibition of photographic works titled, “The Huemanist”.
Oyeleke is a trained computer programmer. But these days, he prefers to work with cameras than just chips. It all started in 2012 when he attended a life-changing photography workshop with the likes of Kelechi Amadi Obi, Isaac Emokpae amongst others as facilitators.
“It was called the Future Enterprise Support Scheme by Red Media, the organisers of the Future Awards,” he recounted. Meanwhile, he had his tertiary education at The Polytechnic, Ibadan and later, Lead City University, Ibadan where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. His sojourn to Lagos was in 2011 when he took part in the mandatory National Youth Service Corp.
He usually works in large format so that the viewer can be immersed in the world of his visual storytelling. With inkjet on canvas, he has captured a variety of human experience.
“The works explore the innate ability to be noble or to do good; love, desire, self-attainment and security. Bad experiences should not make us give up on love or define who we are,” he explained.
His interest grew from the roots of fashion photography. It is not surprising to see the influence of that in most of the works at the exhibition which runs from April 5 to 11.
While the general mood traversing the pieces is optimism, the core human values that the collection amplifies are indeed profound. The young photographer tested the waters in the art scene in 2016 with his first solo show titled, “Revealed”. This year, he is walking the talk on humanity with a CSR initiative.
“We’re partnering with Women At Risk International Foundation. A certain percentage of the proceeds from this exhibition goes to the foundation,” he revealed.
Oyeleke won the Future Awards Prize for Photography in 2018 and The ASFA Fashion Photographer of the year (AFRICA) in 2018. He has worked with numerous designers and brands namely Deola Sagoe, Ejiro Amos Tafiri, OUCH Couture, Grey Velvet, Chidinma Obairi, Orange Culture, GTBank Food and Drinks, TW Magazine, Genevieve Magazine, Wow Magazine, Zaron Cosmetics, Black Opal Nigeria, Samsung, Unilever, Hairfinity USA etc.
Oyeleke’s works at the show include “He and She”, “Affection”, “Communion”, “When Silence is Golden,” “And No Vacuum Exists,” “Dance to Self-Elevation series” “The Bloom Series” etc.
Perhaps, one of the most fascinating of his series rests in the ‘Bloom Series’ which is essentially a composite. He explained to this curious reporter how he had visited a desert in Dubai where the shots were taken before superimposing the models from different shots against this desert background. It was a clear demonstration of artistic ingenuity to recreate a human experience that communicates bliss and optimism.