My name is Olaniyi R. Akindiya, I am known as Akirash, I was born in Lagos – Nigeria. I am an Interdisciplinary Artist, my first degree was in Bio-chemistry. I worked for 2 years as a pharmacist and I found my calling in 1991 when I went back to study Fine and Applied Art at the Institute of Textile Art and Design in Lagos. After graduation, I worked as a textile designer for Nigeria Textile Mill in Lagos for 3 years. I have always been hungry for more knowledge and exposure, so since then, I have traveled the world to contribute, seek knowledge, and show my work. In 2000, I formed a non-governmental program- artwithakirash- in which I select kids, youth, pregnant teens, and help them away from the street. I help them find purpose in life. My work can be found in many countries in the world. I am currently living in Austin, Texas, USA.
My work focuses on moments of time, fleeting moments that can be easily forgotten or transformed. My work reflects on rural versus urban life, the accelerated pace of development, and social infrastructure. I explore the personal and the universal, investigating the invisible systems of power that govern everyday existence. I utilize a multitude of techniques and materials, including re-purposed objects, which may result in mixed media painting, sculpture, installation, video, photography, sound, performance.
Ultimately, my work is designed to create comfort, peace, and solace. I believe that art can be a balm to the soul, revealing a quiet inner truth. My art is a reflection of the joys of life, directly inspired by rhythm, harmony, and the movement of daily existence.
SFAI was an inspiring space to be in. It allowed us to work with new ideas and approaches to our practice, which led to new projects and forms.