By Agatha Emeadi
Olu Omishore is a United Kingdom-based consummate artist who discovered his passion for painting and sculpture early in life.
While growing up in Nigeria, drawing was his hobby and that has led to the birth of ‘Olokun Home Artwork’ in UK, which is driven and inspired by Olokun Heads (also known as Ife-Heads).
In a chat, Omishore said that Olokun Head was founded to expand and promote African/Yoruba culture and arts into homes.
“The Heads are one of the most naturalistic and realistic sculptures that were sculpted by Yoruba people in Southwest Nigeria between 11th and 15th Century. All the sculptures produced during this period exemplify Africa civilisation at the height of its power.”
Olokun Head, according to Omishore, therefore, symbolises the beautiful African royalties and culture, which are powerful expressions of serenity born of divine authority.
To Omishore, his brand Olokun Home is a place of expression, comfort and style.
What background are you coming from academically before venturing into the world of Arts?
I attended all my tertiary education in the United Kingdom. I studied Computer Science for my first degree and Computer-Generated Imagery for my Mastre’s degree, all from Kingston University, London.
How did the world of Arts start for you?
I have always seen myself as a creative person, and drawing was one of my hobbies while growing up in Nigeria. However, it was after I moved to the UK that I developed and pursued more interest in Arts and its related work.
What does Olokun Head mean in this religious era?
Olokun means god of the sea, but the Olokun heads, also known as Ife heads, were a series of sculptures created around the 11th Century to commemorate the Oni and Ile-Ife dynasties. I am a multi-disciplinary artist. Art and product design are what I do for a living.
What formed the brand Olokun Home? And why are most of the works resemblance of Benin tradition especially the heads; is there any connectivity?
Olokun Home products consist of ceramics and resins, sculptures, table lamps, artworks, candles, pillowcases and rugs which were inspired by the Olokun-heads, also known as life-heads. The goal is to infuse African art and sculpture into our living space. Ile-Ife dynasty has a shared relationship and connection with Benin royalty, and that is why some of the sculptures and artworks have similarities.
Most Artists tell stories with their Artwork, what story, message or information are you passing across to your clients through your Artworks?
Olokun Head sculptures created 11th Centuries ago depicted African ingenuity before colonisation and exploitation. My art aims to tell Africa’s beautiful art history from an African perspective.
Does Artistry run in your family or it just happened to you? What was the first Artwork, and how did you feel?
Yes, creativity runs in my family. My older brother is an actor, and one of my sisters is a professional photographer and a makeup artist. My first completed commissioned artwork was titled “Homage” and seeing the art displayed in a client’s home has continued to be a source of joy to me.
How was growing up in the family?
My parents were entrepreneurs, and I had seven siblings growing up. Being a middle child was quite challenging, but my late parents were supportive of my creativity, and I’m sure they are both proud of the man I have become today.
UK was badly hit during COVID-19, did it affect your Arts business?
COVID-19 affected everyone, and it was a particularly challenging time for me as I was just about to start ‘Olokun Home’ when the pandemic began. I thank God for the support of family and friends. I used the time to learn and develop more skills.
What other firms of Arts are you involved into?
Like every other artist, I design clothes, unisex jewelry and accessories inspired by Olokun Heads.