'JIDE AJE In His Own Words


Simply put, my work is the result of constant search and experimentation, a product of creative freedom in which the process is as important as the outcome. Drawing and painting typically form a foundation unto which collage, texture and other elements are layered.

African, specifically West African decorative motifs are used as a jumping off point, though I also draw inspiration from a wide variety of themes and influences. An area of interest to me is the traditional or pre-Industrial Age color palette, which I have expanded beyond its original, traditional utility.

While I may incorporate traditional color schemes, I also love the use of bold and vibrant color. One of the areas of African culture my work mines from and evokes includes the various textile traditions. The process and iconography of the famous indigo resist fabric of South Western Nigeria also known as adire (pronounced ah-dee-reh) have become a fairly recurrent theme in many of my pieces and series.


My approach to creation is to tackle a new piece or series without much if any direct influence from the previous creations. This is of course an uphill task for one cannot run away from ones self. Over time, many of my various themes and series have bled into or cross pollinated each other.

I’m always on the lookout for new materials and processes, new ways of using the existing and the old, yet seeking to be fresh and original. Working from the viewpoint that culture is dynamic, I rework old symbols, colors and textures to fit a modern context.